Injuries that are sustained from a car accident are often difficult to come back from, and perhaps head injuries are one of the worst. According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) annually. Of those who suffer from a TBI, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and close to 1.4 million are treated and released from emergency departments.
Motor vehicle and traffic injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the United States. Rates are higher for adults between the ages of 20 and 24. Although not every TBI ends in a fatality, many have life-changing effects and victims may need long periods of time to recover.
Common Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Traumatic brain injuries vary in their severity. All of the injuries are unique, as the brain can experience several different types of injuries depending on the type and amount of force that impacts the head. The injury can affect just one functional area of the brain, various areas, or all the areas. Car accident victims commonly experience brain injuries such as concussions and contusions; however, many different types of TBIs are possible. The following is a brief overview:
Concussions. Often caused by sports injuries as well as car accidents, concussions are the result of a brain trauma created by a sudden movement or momentum change. The blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may be damaged by this type of injury. In car accidents, concussions are often caused by a direct blow to the head or a whiplash-type movement. Concussions are often thought of as the mildest of the brain injuries; however, they can create substantial impairments and difficulties that can last a lifetime. Victims with concussions may experience a loss of consciousness and feel dazed. Additionally, they may experience temporary or permanent brain damage, and may even develop brain clots, which can be fatal.
Contusions. In a car accident, contusions are often the result of a direct blow to the head, such as with the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. This type of injury is essential when the brain is bruised, or bleeding. The contusions typically occur in the cortical tissue, in areas that are near sharp ridges in the skull, such as under the frontal and the temporal lobes and on the root of the ocular orbit. Contusions can be minor, or quite severe and can cause a variety of symptoms, including unconsciousness, and can cause victims to become agitated, tired, emotional, and confused. More severe contusions can lead to brain swelling, which can cause additional brain damage.
Diffuse axonal. In car accidents, diffuse axonal injuries are caused by strong rotational forces. The injury occurs because the unmoving brain lags behind the movement of the skull, which causes the brain structures to tear. Extensive tearing of nerve tissue typically occurs in this type of injury. Because the nerve tissue tearing disrupts the brain’s regular communication and chemical processes, this injury can often cause the brain to release chemicals throughout the body, which can cause additional injuries. A diffuse axonal can produce temporary or permanent widespread damage, coma, or death.
Penetration. As the name implies, this traumatic brain injury occurs when an object penetrates the brain and forces hair, skin, bones, or fragments from the object into the brain. In a car accident, the brain could experience a penetration by glass, metal, or any number of the sharp objects that are located in an automobile. A “through-and-through” brain penetration occurs when an object enters the skull, goes through the brain, and then exits the skull. Along with the penetration injury, this TBI can cause stretching, ruptures, and shearing of the brain tissue.
Coup-contrecoup. A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when contusions appear on the brain at both the site of the injury, and on the opposite side of the brain. In order to cause the brain to move with that much force that it touches two sides of the brain, the head has to experience a significant amount of force, such as a blow to the head created by a car accident.
We Want to Help Car Accident Victims Who Suffer Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are often difficult to diagnose and can be even harder to treat. Additionally, they are often extremely expensive. The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP may be able to help you receive financial compensation that can help you pay for these expenses. Schedule your no-obligation consultation by calling 855.947.0707 and start learning more about your rights.