If you ask people about the worst injuries that car crashes cause, often they will talk about spinal cord injuries and amputations. However, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also common after motor vehicle collisions.
When you understand these potentially serious injuries, you will be in a better position to protect yourself on the road and also in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision.
What constitutes a traumatic brain injury?
A TBI occurs when someone has bleeding or bruising on the brain or inside their skull. This inflammation or bleeding will put pressure on the brain and can cause alarming symptoms.
The consequences of a TBI range from changes in sensory processing and motor function to shifts in personality and protracted unconsciousness. In extreme cases, people may end up dependent on life support and unable to return to work after a traumatic brain injury.
How do car crashes cause TBIs?
There are numerous ways that a car crash could cause a TBI. The first and most obvious is blunt force trauma. Someone thrown from the vehicle will likely hurt their head. Individuals can also strike their heads on the windows or frame of the vehicle during a crash, which can lead to a TBI.
However, you don’t have to actually hit your head to hurt your brain. The violent motion of the vehicle could cause your brain to move around inside your skull and cause swelling and bleeding. People can also develop brain injuries because of penetrating wounds caused by shrapnel in the collision. Explosions, while rare, can cause percussive force that injures the brain.
You may not notice the signs of the TBI right at the scene of a crash. It could be days before you start to notice the change in your sleeping habits or your vision that makes you think you need to see a doctor. The sooner you obtain an accurate medical diagnosis, the easier it will be for you to prove that your brain injury is the result of a car crash.
TBIs can lead to both massive medical bills and also lost earning potential. For some people, the cost of a TBI will be high enough that they need to look into secondary sources of financial compensation after a car wreck. Understanding the connection between motor vehicle collisions and brain injuries can help those coping with the aftermath of a recent wreck.