How can car accidents cause head and brain injuries?

Car accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries that are not always readily apparent.

Perhaps you are driving to a local restaurant for dinner, taking the usual route, mindful of other cars and pedestrians that make up the daily traffic in your neighborhood. Suddenly, your car is broad-sided by a speeding SUV that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Or, picture your simply stopped at a red light, a mile away from your dinner destination, when you are suddenly rear-ended by a truck.

Next, you hit the steering wheel, and your passenger hits the windshield.

The first instinct of the involved parties is to check for obvious injuries: blood, consciousness, pain, functioning limbs. When no one seems to be injured, everyone breathes a sigh of relief that all are unharmed.

Sometimes, not everyone is simply okay. You or your passenger may have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries are not always obvious, and their immediate treatment can make a huge difference.

Here are some traumatic brain injury statistics complied from government research, neuroscientsts, and consumer safety studies:

  • Millions of Americans suffer from head and brain injuries each year. Most of these injuries are relatively minor because the skull typically provides adequate protection to the brain. The symptoms of these minor injuries usually, but not always, fade on their own.
  • Car accidents and truck accidents are the leading cause of all head injuries, followed by sports accidents, and household falls.
  • Traffic accidents account for almost half of the about 500,000 head injuries serious enough to require hospitalization every year. Altogether, traumatic brain injuries cause around one third of all injury deaths in America.
  • Scientific evidence shows that brain damage can be caused by head injuries even when there has been no loss of consciousness. The result of these injuries can not only be physical disability, but emotional, intellectual, and social trauma.

If you are wondering how a car accident can cause a serious brain injury, think of it like this: When you are in a moving car struck by another moving car, in just a split second your brain goes from the speed of the moving car to zero.

In elementary school we learned how complex and important the human brain is, constantly directing our thoughts, impulses, and sensations. It comes as no surprise then how many things can actually go wrong when the brain in subjected to trauma,  especially trauma inflicted at a high speed.

Head injuries are typically classified as open or closed injuries:

  • Open head injuries. These occur when an object fractures or penetrates the skull. In a car crash, for example, an open injury could occur when a driver or passenger goes through the windshield.
  • Closed head injuries. This type of head injury can occur when an accident or object causes a strong blow to the head, but the skull does not break. In the case of a car accident, this could happen to a driver or passenger who hits the steering wheel or another component of the car.

If you suffer from either type of traumatic brain injury, there is a very serious possibility of long-term brain damage. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are vital to this type of injury. If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of vehicle accident wherein a head or brain injury was sustained, you may be entitled to significant monetary compensation. To find out more information on how a St. Louis brain injury lawyer can get you money for your medical treatment, future losses, time off work, and damaged vehicle, call our law offices today at 314.409.7060 or at 855.40.CRASH. Rest assured, our services are COMPLETELY FREE, unless we successfully recover money for you. Give us a call today; we look forward to helping you through this difficult time.

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Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

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