What happens to the brain in a car crash?
When car accident occur, drivers and passengers are jolted or thrown around, which can lead to occupants violently hitting their head on a surface in the vehicle. This type of violent impact can lead to traumatic brain injuries or TBI’s. TBI’s occur when the brain is violently bounced around inside the skull, resulting in internal bleeding, bruising, and ripping of nerve fibers within the brain. The initial symptoms of the primary injury are similar to a concussion, leaving the victim with memory loss of the event, confusion, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
What may occur after a person suffers brain damage in an accident?
Depending on the severity of the accident, and the severity of the resulting TBI, the results following an accident can drastically differ. For some, the results of a brain injury could be nothing more than the symptoms of a mild concussion. For others, the results could be permanent brain damage, disability, and in some cases death.
There are a number of secondary injuries that can occur following a TBI, including:
- Contusion: Contusions are bruises caused by an impact to the head that directly bruises the brain.
- Concussion: Concussions are generally mild head injury that most often results in no permanent brain damage, often accompanied by a brief loss of consciousness.
- Hematoma: When an injury occurs and a blood vessel ruptures, clots form to stem the flow of bleeding. Sometimes, when a TBI occurs, this can result in large clots of blood-forming in spaces of the brain that require surgical removal.
- Hemorrhaging: Occasionally, arteries in the brain tear during a traumatic injury event. Normally, the brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid to cushion it inside the skull, but a TBI can cause the spaces around the brain to flood with blood instead.
Depending on the type and severity of TBI, the victim’s medical care could range from light rest and medication to intensive hospital care. In the event of a moderate or severe TBI, the patient could be comatose or even paralyzed, and may require extensive care to recover.
Can someone fully recover from a TBI?
Recovering from a TBI depends entirely on the severity of the injury and a number of individual factors. Patients with mild TBI may experience speedy recoveries within a few weeks of their accident. Others with more severe TBI may recover years after their injury or never recover at all.
Does a brain injury shorten life expectancy?
Studies have shown that life expectancy for individuals who have experienced a TBI is lower than those who had never received one. Although it is unclear whether the shortened life expectancy is due to altered characteristics of the individual or the nature of the injury itself, there is a link to premature death. (Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/Moderate_to_Severe_TBI_Lifelong-a.pdf)
What are the classic symptoms of a mild TBI?
The Mayo Clinic cites the following as symptoms of a traumatic brain injury https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557)
Physical symptoms include either loss of consciousness or feeling dazed and disoriented, dizzy or unbalanced, followed by a headache, possible nausea, fatigue and problems with speech. Some people have trouble sleeping or sleep more than they usually do.
People with mild TBI may be sensitive to light and have blurred vision, have a bad taste or changes to their sense of smell. They may experience problems with remembering and concentration and can have mood swings or feel anxious or depressed.
How can Carpey Law help if a loved one has suffered a TBI from a car crash?
If you or a loved one has been in a crash and has sustained a head injury, Carpey Law can advocate on your behalf and help you or your loved one get the compensation you deserve.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.