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Can You Get Brain Damage From A Car Accident?

Doctor reviews brain scan images and CT scans on a computer. 

Car accidents can leave motorists with severe injuries, resulting in a range of long-term or permanent disabilities. These might include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that can cause varying degrees of brain damage. In fact, brain damage is a relatively common issue for survivors of traffic incidents. Brain damage may be caused by a blow to the head, penetrating injuries, or a sudden jolt. Whatever the case may be, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention from a certified healthcare professional after suffering brain damage in a car accident. This will not only help with recovery, but it will also create medical records that may prove important in subsequent personal injury lawsuits. Speak to an experienced Yonkers injury lawyer at Stufano Law by calling 914-752-7746 – and learn more about the various legal options after sustaining brain damage from a car accident. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

TBIs are often debilitating, and they may leave victims with permanent, lasting disabilities. According to the National Institutes of Health, vehicle collisions are a “major cause” of TBIs, including auto collisions, motorcycle crashes, and pedestrian collisions. The National Safety Council reports that a significant portion of bicycle accidents, in particular, involve head injuries. 

Penetrating Brain Injury

A penetrating TBI occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull and reaches into the brain. This foreign object might be a shard of glass from a windshield or a piece of metal. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, penetrating brain injuries may cause disabilities or fatalities in adults. Trauma can affect one area of the brain, called the focal area. If the injury affects more than one area, it is called a diffuse TBI.

Closed Brain Injuries 

Closed brain injuries are nonpenetrating, with no breakage in the skull. For example, a motorist might suffer a nonpenetrating brain injury after hitting their head on their steering wheel. These injuries may also occur with no actual impact to the skull. A sudden movement can cause the head to jerk or shake with such force that the brain impacts the interior of the cranium. 

With no visible point of impact, these brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose – highlighting the need for immediate medical attention. Closed brain injuries can be severe or even fatal, and there have been documented cases of TBI patients dying days or weeks after their crashes with virtually no warning. This is due to internal bruising or tearing that damages the blood vessels and brain tissue. Over time, internal bleeding can put increasing levels of pressure on the brain, and this may be fatal. 

Identifying Signs of Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Crash

According to the National Institutes of Health, auto accidents represent one of the leading causes of brain damage along with falls and violence. Brain damage can lead to physical, emotional, and mental trauma. Injured motorists and their families should watch carefully for brain-damage-related symptoms after collisions and follow recommendations from medical providers. Symptoms may be difficult to identify, however, as they vary depending on the area of the brain affected and the severity of the trauma sustained.

Brain Injury Facts After Car Accidents

TBI-related brain damage can have severe and lasting consequences, including neurological disorders, comas, and death. When left untreated, a TBI is likely to cause more complications and lasting medical issues. Sometimes, signs and symptoms of brain damage will be evident immediately following the collision. However, they may also begin to appear over time – possibly weeks after the car crash. During these first few weeks, brain-damaged patients may wish to consult with a Yonkers, New York personal injury attorney at Stufano Law. If the motorist is incapacitated by brain damage, their family may have the ability to pursue legal action on behalf of the victim. 

What Are the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Medline Plus has identified a few key signs and symptoms to watch for after a blow to the head or sudden jolt. These include:

  • Lightheadedness and persistent headaches 
  • Lethargy, extreme fatigue, or inability to wake up 
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth 
  • Blurred vision and dizziness 
  • Sudden changes in mood or sleeping patterns 
  • Loss of consciousness or confusion 
  • Memory loss 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Coordination issues 

Seeking medical care from a healthcare professional is essential after suffering brain damage from a car accident. Minor symptoms might not tell the whole story, and victims may not be aware of their own potentially fatal brain bleeds. Furthermore, immediate treatment creates important medical records that prove the existence of injuries. These records may be important as plaintiffs pursue compensation.

How Should I Deal With TBIs in Children After Car Accidents?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders reminds parents that their children might not understand or have the ability to explain the brain injury symptoms they are experiencing. Parents should therefore watch for signs such as: 

  • Persistent irritability and crying 
  • Lack of interest in their favorite activities 
  • Sudden changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Balance problems 
  • Vomiting 
  • Seizures 

Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD From a Car Accident

Many motorists are not prepared for the extreme amount of stress and anxiety related to brain damage after car accidents. The trauma can leave victims with short or long-term post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders, and returning to work or school too quickly may increase the chances of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients may wish to address this trauma by speaking to their physicians. When brain injuries are severe, the inability to engage in everyday activities can cause serious frustration, and accident victims struggling with these issues may have the ability to pursue compensation for related non-economic damages – such as “loss of enjoyment of life.” 

Meet With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in New York Today 

Car accidents can occur out of the blue, but subsequent physical, psychological, and financial damages may be even more shocking for injured motorists. If a crash of this nature was caused by negligence, injured motorists have the right to pursue settlements from the at-fault parties. While in the most optimistic scenario, seeking immediate medical care may lead to a full recovery, treatment is costly and especially problematic for those unable to work. Victims of car accidents have every right to pursue damages from reckless, negligent drivers who cause brain damage. For more legal assistance, call 914-752-7746 to schedule a consultation with a Yonkers, New York personal injury lawyer at Stufano Law.


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