Automobile accidents can be traumatic, resulting in both visible and unseen physical injuries. Invisible are closed head injuries, often called concussions, which occur when the brain is jostled back and forth inside the skull.
Types Of Brain Injuries From Car Accidents
Several types of brain injuries can occur during a car accident. A diffuse axonal injury, the most common type of brain injury generally referred to as a concussion, is caused by the shaking or forceful rotation of the head. The movement of the brain inside the skull results in tears of nerve tissue, potentially releasing brain chemicals.
A contusion is the result of a direct blow to the head that causes bleeding of the brain. Contusions can be so large they may need to be surgically removed.
A coup-contrecoup injury is essentially a double contusion – one at the impact site and the other on the opposite side of the brain from a significant amount of force.
Closed Head-Injury Symptoms
Even with the mildest form of a closed-head brain injury from an automobile accident, the following symptoms can occur:
- Loss of consciousness
- Brain swelling
- Brain bleeding
- Sensory problems
- Weakened cognitive function
- Memory loss
- Impaired social skills
Brain-Injury Treatment And Long-Term Needs
Treatment for brain injuries can vary extensively. Some people require minimal medical intervention and medication, while others require intense daily therapy for physical, occupational, speech and neurological needs.
The most serious brain injuries require lifelong rehabilitative care with teams of professionals aiding in the process. Patients generally live in rehabilitation hospitals or other inpatient facilities as they work to regain independence. A brain injury can truly be life-altering, affecting not only the injured person, but also his or her family and close friends.
Potential Legal Claims In Automobile Accidents
A person not at fault, but injured in a car accident can seek compensation for his or her medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When the injuries are so extensive the person who was not at fault dies, the victim's family can seek compensation in a wrongful-death claim.
However, issues of fault in automobile accidents are complicated and require a trained legal perspective. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury or has died from a car accident, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and your options.