Car accidents can cause severe long-term injuries to all involved, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or broken bones. Some TBIs show immediately, while others take some time to manifest. Regardless of when they display, TBIs can be fatal or life-altering.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be severe and may result in life-long emotional damage, permanent impairment, or death. If you have been involved in a car crash, you need to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare provider who will check for any signs of TBI. This is especially crucial for older adults who take blood thinners such as anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are injuries to the brain caused by an external force that affects how the brain works. In a car accident, traumatic brain damage may be caused by:
- A bump, blow or jolt to the head causes soft brain tissue to collide with the hard bony skull.
- Penetrating injury to the head. In a car accident, objects in the car can become projectiles that penetrate and damage the skull.
- Whiplash can cause nerve fibers to tear.
TBIs are much more common than we think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported “64,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2020, which translates to 176 TBI-related deaths every day”. Traumatic brain injuries can be mild (concussion), moderate, or severe. Depending on the severity of the injury, people with TBI may experience short-term to life-long effects of the damage.
Common Symptoms of TBI After a Car Crash
Identifying a traumatic brain injury immediately after the accident may be difficult. That is why you should get a medical check-up following an accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, some signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Minor traumatic brain injury: Brief loss of consciousness, dizziness, headache, confusion, nausea, fatigue, blurred vision or tired eyes, problems speaking, ringing in the ears, inability to sleep, loss of balance, bad taste in the mouth, trouble thinking, concentrating or with memory, among others.
- Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury: Persistent headache, loss of consciousness, repeated vomiting or nausea, loss of coordination, convulsions, seizures, dilation of pupils, fluid draining from the nose or ears, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, extreme confusion, unusual behavior, and coma.
People with mild TBI can often recover at home after a medical check-up, while those with moderate or severe TBI may require continued in-hospital care to aid their recovery.
5 Types of Car Accidents Most Likely to Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported motor vehicle crashes as the third leading cause of TBI injuries. The following types of car crashes are more likely to cause a TBI:
1. Head-On Collisions
With head-on collisions, passengers are suddenly jerked forward, causing them to strike their heads on the dashboard or steering wheel. This impact can cause brain injury as it collides with the skull.
2. Large Truck Accidents
TBIs in truck accidents often occur due to violent movement caused by the crash. Your head may strike an object in the car or jolt suddenly.
3. Rear-End Collisions
When a driver crashes into the back of the car in front of them, the impact can result in whiplash to the occupants of the other vehicle. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden back-and-forth movement of the head. Critical nerve fibers can be torn, causing brain injury.
4. Side-Impact Collisions
Also called T-bone crashes, these types of car wrecks can cause the brain to violently strike one side of the skull before striking the opposite side. Brain tissue is quite delicate. As such, this kind of violent impact can cause traumatic brain injury.
5. Car Rollovers
Suppose the vehicle is not adequately manufactured—defective seat belt, for example. In that case, the occupants of the car may be thrown around as the vehicle rolls over, causing their heads to hit objects in the car or the roof and sides of the vehicle. The resulting brain injury can be pretty severe.
Can I Sue for TBI After a Car Crash?
If your car insurance refuses or cuts off payment for your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) cover, you can sue for:
- Unpaid and overdue medical bills
- Medical Mileage
- Nurse care fees
- Replacement services
- Lost wages and future lost income because your injuries may prevent you from going back to work.
You can sue the at-fault driver for excess and future medical expenses and lost income. In order to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, you must prove that the other driver’s actions caused the accident in which you were injured and that the mental trauma you suffered due to the accident constitutes a “serious impairment of body function.”
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
Wearing a seat belt can help reduce your risk of suffering TBIs. They are designed to keep you securely in place and prevent sudden movements. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a car crash, you must seek immediate medical attention even if you don’t think you sustained any injuries.
Get in touch with a car crash lawyer as soon as you can after a car accident to learn your options when it comes to retrieving your rightful compensation. Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis is willing and ready to put our years of experience to work for you. Contact us by calling (407) 843-7060 or filling out our contact form for a free consultation.