Car accidents are such a common occurrence that most of us are involved in a crash at some point during our lives, regardless of how carefully we drive. Motor vehicle accidents are often serious enough to result in catastrophic injury or even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than two million people are injured each year in motor vehicle accidents in the United States—that’s over 5,000 injuries daily.
One of the most common car accident injuries is a TBI, which stands for “traumatic brain injury.” These can not only be difficult to treat but are also often nearly impossible to detect without going to a medical facility. Our Athens personal injury attorney explains the most common types of brain injuries that can result from a car accident as well as what symptoms to look out for.
Types of Brain Injury
Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of all TBI-related hospitalizations, based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are several different types of brain injuries which can be caused by an auto accident, including:
- Bruising, or “contusion.” Contusions are more complex than typical bruises. If they are serious enough, surgical removal may be required.
- Concussion, which results either when the brain receives trauma from an impact or a sudden change in momentum or movement.
- Coup contrecoup, which is when contusions form on both sides of the brain—the site of the impact as well as the opposite side.
- Diffuse axonal injury is the shearing (or tearing) of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers (axons) that happens when the brain is injured as can occur by a strong rotation of the head.
- Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is bleeding into the areas around the brain and can occur when small arteries tear during a traumatic event such as a car crash.
The above can occur in of a number of ways during a car crash, such as hitting your head on a hard surface, being struck by a flying object, or whiplash. Even the sheer force of a crash can cause a brain injury.
Common Symptoms of TBI
Though symptoms of a TBI can be tough to detect, there are some tell-tale warning signs.
See a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following after a car accident:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Difficulty dealing with emotions
- Dilated or uneven pupils
- Extreme exhaustion
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Numbness in extremities
- Slowed thinking or response times
When to Get Treatment
In some cases, it is obvious you have a head injury—you may experience severe pain or have an open wound. However, many cases are invisible. Even if you are experiencing some of the above symptoms, it may take time for you to realize it.
When in doubt, see a medical professional. In fact, with car accidents it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Visiting a doctor, or hospital, after you’ve been in a crash is highly recommended so that you can relay your symptoms and begin on the road to healing.
At The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC, our dedicated car accident attorney has been representing injured clients in the Athens area for over 15 years. If you or a loved one has recently been in a motor vehicle crash caused by someone else, we can help you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for you free case evaluation.