Traumatic Brain Injuries and Car Accidents

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Traumatic Brain Injuries and Car Accidents

Being involved in a car accident can be extremely traumatic and could result in a serious head injury. The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body and unfortunately, it is at the highest risk in car accidents.

Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declares that traumatic brain injuries are the main cause of deaths and disabilities in the U.S. Additionally, car accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury can be caused by any impact to the head that could disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Not all impacts however will result in a traumatic brain injury. The seriousness of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe. The most common form of traumatic brain injuries that occur are mild, which are commonly called concussions.

In car accidents, a trauma to the brain can happen when a person’s skull strikes an object. For example, this can be the car’s steering wheel or even the car’s windshield and airbag. In traumatic brain injuries, an open wound is not necessitated. The skull does not need to have been either penetrated or fractured for the brain injury to occur. In fact, in car accidents, the sheer force of the incident can be sufficient to cause the brain to collide forcefully with the skull. This form of brain injury can cause the brain to bruise, which is medically referred to as a contusion. It can also cause bleeding in the brain, which is medically referred to as a brain hemorrhage. Both of these injuries, while not the only form of brain injuries possible, are not commonly visible when the injury happens. While the injury can be interpreted by other bodily symptoms, the injury itself is not commonly demonstrated physically.

The Implications of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can be particularly worrisome for several reasons. These types of injuries can have harmful consequences in the short term but they can also have lifelong effects. Depending on the severity of the injury sustained, medical treatments received, among other factors, a traumatic brain injury could result in:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • A loss of sensation in the extremities
  • An increased risk of a stroke or seizures
  • A greater risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease

These are only some of the consequences of a traumatic brain injury. Every case will be different and while an impact may be similar, some impacts to the brain can develop into devastating ailments whereas others can be less traumatic.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

As previously mentioned, every traumatic brain injury will be different. Not every injury will be immediately evident and chances are, most injuries will not result in obvious pain. Unfortunately, most traumatic brain injury victims will fail to seek medical attention after a car accident.  Seeking immediate medical care, however, is one of the most important things to do after a car accident despite how minor the injury may have been.

There are countless of reasons why a car accident victim should seek medical attention. The following highlights some of the most important reasons to do so.

  1. The lack of sensation
    1. After a car accident, many people will fail to recognize the extent of their injuries. Car accidents can leave people feeling anxious, nervous, scared, and even angry. The adrenaline rush that a car accident victim experiences can result in a lack of awareness in the injuries sustained. Once the adrenaline rush subsides, a victim will likely begin to feel the trauma. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after the incident, even if the pain does not seem drastic. A medical professional can examine the injuries and determine if further tests are necessary. In the event that a head trauma has occurred, seeking medical attention can help reduce long-term effects.
  1. Obtain appropriate documentation
    1. Seeking medical attention immediately after a car accident will not only help to ensure that a victim is not at risk for health issues, it also serves as evidence that a victim was in fact injured in an auto accident. As a victim to a car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, there may be an opportunity to seek financial compensation for the injuries sustained. Seeking medical attention will provide the needed documentation that will give a judge the required evidence to demonstrate the ailment. In the event that the victim seeks to obtain compensation for the injuries sustained in a car accident from the negligent party, these medical documents can help to ensure that the claim is successful. Without the immediate medical attention record, the negligent party can claim that there were no injuries. Further, they can also attempt to claim that the injuries were aggravated by the victim’s lack of immediate action to seek care.
  1. Do not risk losing the claim
    1. The decision to not seek medical attention can be the sole reason why a victim will be unable to obtain financial restitution. Without a medical record, it can be difficult to prove that any injuries were sustained. The party that caused the head injuries can claim that the injuries were caused by other means, which can leave the victim to pay for all of his or her medical expenses. The failure to seek medical attention will not always prevent a person from receiving compensation for the injuries sustained in the incident, but it can reduce the amount of restitution received. If a victim has experienced a traumatic brain injury, the loss of financial compensation can be devastating. The loss of restitution can prevent a person from paying for necessary medical care in the event that the brain injuries become heightened. 

The Importance of Seeking Legal Support

Obtaining a traumatic brain injury as a result of a vehicle accident can have shocking consequences. If you have been hurt in a vehicle accident due to someone’s negligence, seek medical attention immediately. With help filing for a claim, speak to a professional and experienced attorney. Personal injury claims have strict time limits; consult with a qualified attorney so that you may have the opportunity to get compensated for your grievances.