What to Do If You Suffer a Car Accident Brain Injury
A car accident brain injury can change a person’s life in a matter of seconds, though it often goes undetected. Car and truck accidents are the cause for nearly 28% of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, they’re the leading cause of brain injury hospitalizations for young people from 15-44 years of age, but they do not always result in outward signs of physical harm.
While severe trauma can lead to long-term disabilities or early death, even seemingly minor brain injuries like concussions can cause a person to suffer loss of consciousness, impaired thinking and brain bruising. When the prospect of making long-term care plans and paying medical bills seems overwhelming, a Charlotte car accident lawyer at Campbell & Associates can help hold the at-fault party accountable. Call 704-333-0885 today for a free consultation.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Brain injuries occur when the brain forcefully strikes the skull. Violent shaking, unnatural movements or blunt impact by or against another object causes trauma. As a result, the brain’s soft tissue absorbs the striking force and disrupts normal brain function.
How Do You Suffer a Car Accident Brain Injury?
During an auto accident, a person’s head can violently impact surfaces or free-flying objects. TBI injuries vary depending on where the head is hit in different types of car accidents.
- Rear-End Collisions: The driver in a rear-ended vehicle may experience whiplash. This occurs when the force from behind sharply throws the head backwards and then snaps it forward. When this happens, the brain strikes the skull at a high speed, which can result in mild to moderate TBI symptoms.
- Front-End Collisions: On the contrary, front-end collisions result in quick stops. As a result, the driver continues moving forward at the same speed as they were traveling before the crash. Rapid deceleration can force the brain against the skull. In addition to concussions, severe facial injuries are also common as the head impacts the steering wheel.
- Side-Impact Crashes: In a side-impact car crash, the occupant’s head is violently thrown in the direction of the impact. For example, if the car was struck on the driver’s side, the driver’s head would swing left, forcing the brain to strike both the right and left sides of the skull. Striking the head against a window can also result in skull fractures and tears where glass shards or bone fragments may enter the brain.
Although most open-head traumatic brain injuries (i.e. trauma that breaks the skull and goes through to the brain) appear catastrophic, closed-head injuries are equally destructive. Since our skulls are roughly only a quarter of an inch think, a blow to the head with the force of a colliding vehicle is likely to result in cognitive impairment and long-term suffering.
Check for TBI Symptoms
Some TBI symptoms are obvious and immediately materialize. But the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can also be subtle. They may take time to show up and appear noticeable to friends, family or even the victim.
- Persistent headaches
- Memory loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of coordination
- Irritability or emotional disturbances
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
If you have been in a car accident, especially if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is urgent for you to see a doctor. A medical professional can examine your injuries, evaluate your symptoms, and help you develop a recovery plan. The sooner a doctor diagnoses your traumatic brain injury, the sooner you can start your treatment.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Rehabilitation and medical care may extend long after hospital treatment ends. Most people coping with a brain injury and dealing with insurance companies have a difficult time negotiating full compensation. To allow you to focus on recovery, our experienced brain injury lawyers can help do the following:
- Collect physical evidence, such as medical records, accident reports, injury photographs and any other necessary documentation needed to prove your claim.
- Consult with medical professionals to establish credible testimony that you or your loved one’s brain injury was the result of negligence.
- Investigate your case to determine the at-fault parties and the insurance policies available to provide compensation.
North Carolina imposes strict deadlines on filing personal injury lawsuits. If you do not file a lawsuit within the time allowed, you may lose your right to seek compensation. It is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer promptly so that we can get to work investigating your case. Call a Charlotte car accident lawyer at 704-333-0885 for a free consultation.
CDC: Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013.