are a leading cause of brain injuries in America. Motor vehicle crashes account for seventeen percent of all traumatic brain injuries
, and thirty two percent of all brain related deaths. They can result from the head crashing into a foreign object, such as the steering wheel or windshield, or from flying objects immediately following the accident. Sometimes, a traumatic brain injury can result from sudden movement of the brain, or whiplash. While often times the effects of this trauma is immediately apparent, sometimes even minor head damage can result in serious or life-threatening brain damage.
There are several factors that attribute to victims of an auto accident not becoming instantly aware of the extent of their injuries. For one, the initial shock of the crash overrides any physical sensation. It is not uncommon for a passenger to feel perfectly normal after an accident, only to feel the true brunt of the crash several hours or days later. Some people believe that because they were never knocked unconscious, or show any signs of a brain injury, they never suffered any harm. Additionally, most people do not realize that even the slightest force to the head can cause serious brain damage and therefore ignore most of the symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Enlarged pupils
- Impulsive behavior, depression or mood swings
- Facial bruising
- Vomiting or nausea
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or irritation
- Low blood pressure
Immediate attention following a car accident is essential as swelling is often irreversible. Therefore, even if you have no symptoms after a car accident, it is best to seek medical attention after a crash.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is the result of a some type of sudden trauma that results in harm to the brain. A traumatic brain injury can be characterized as mild (short alteration in mental state) to severe (prolonged duration of unconsciousness or amnesia). There are two major forms of TBI.
1. Penetrating Injuries
occur when a foreign object (glass, rods) pierces through to the brain causing damage to parts of the brain
2. Closed head injuries
, most common in car accidents occurs when the head smashes into another object. Closed head injuries are further divided into primary and secondary brain damage
Primary brain damage
: A brain injury that is complete at the point of impact. These injuries can include:
– can be either a simple (break in the bone without puncturing the skin), linear (small crack without breakage of the bone), depressed (depression of the skull toward the brain) or compound (break or loss of skin and splintering of the skull) fracture.
– bruising of the brain tissue
– rupturing of blood vessels within the brain or just outside the brain beneath the skull
– tissue of the brain is cut or torn
(diffuse axonal injury) – nerve tissue is torn, causing chemicals to be released into the brain.
Secondary brain damage
: A brain injury that progresses over a period of time. Examples of secondary brain damage are
- Brain swelling (edema)
- Change in blood pressure
Law Firm Handling Cases for Victims of a Brain Injury from a Car Accident
Downtown L.A. Law Group understands the specific needs and care of passengers suffering from a traumatic brain injury following an auto accident. We will work intelligently and diligently to master the intricacies of a case involving brain trauma. Call us to speak to an attorney regarding the facts of your case by phone at (888) 649-7166
or by email