Traumatic brain injury associated with auto accidents

California motorists may be interested to learn that roadway accidents are the leading cause of death from traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. TBI causes immediate or delayed physical, psychological and cognitive injury and significant financial issues related to treatment and loss of income.

The force of the crash determines the effect it will have on the human body. A vehicle traveling at 60 mph that suddenly stops due to impact may have significant effects on internal organs and the brain. When impact occurs, the vehicle stops abruptly, but the occupants’ bodies do not stop. They keep moving at the same velocity until something else, such as a seat belt or an airbag, stops them. When the skull is hit, the brain slams into it since it too continues to move. This causes injury and symptoms.

Striking the windshield has the greatest potential for harm. Two types of head injury occur. Open head injury is where the skull is fractured and may result in brain tissue laceration and glass impregnation into the brain. Surgery may be needed to extract shards and repair the tissue. Closed head injuries where skull fracture does not occur may result in bleeding and swelling of the brain. It causes a range of symptoms including memory and speech difficulties, balance problems, seizures, personality change and cognitive issues as well as coma and death.

Brain injuries may require long stays in intensive care as well as physical and cognitive rehabilitation. Recovery depends on the injury, and it may be slow and accompanied by unemployment due to physical and brain injuries. An attorney may evaluate the need for extended care by consulting with physicians. An attorney may assist someone who suffers TBI due to someone else’s negligence by filing a personal injury suit to recover financial losses.

Source: Brain Injury Institute, “Closed Head Injury,” 2011

Source: BrainInjuryInstitute.org, “Auto Accident”, September 28, 2014

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