At the law firm of Davis, Saperstein, & Salomon, P.C., our experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys encourage people to always seek medical attention in the aftermath of a crash.
This is because many types of injuries are not always readily apparent. If such injuries go undiagnosed and untreated, they can have a life-altering impact on a person’s health.
Traumatic brain injury is an example. A car accident victim who has suffered TBI may fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of the injury. If the victim waits too long to get medical attention, he or she may suffer permanent harm.
Types of Head and Brain Injuries
According to the online health information resource Healthline, head and brain injuries generally result from:
- Direct blows to the head, scalp or skull
- Shaking or violent force.
Common types of head and brain injuries include:
- Hematoma – This type of head injury occurs as the result of blood clotting outside of the blood vessels, causing pressure to build up inside the brain.
- Hemorrhage – This is uncontrolled bleeding either around the brain or in the brain tissues.
- Concussion – This is a brain injury that occurs as the result of the brain bouncing against the hard surfaces of the skull. While the effects of a concussion are often temporary, repeated concussions can result in permanent damage.
- Edema – This is swelling in the brain or in the surrounding tissues, which can occur as the result of any type of head injury.
- Skull fracture – This occurs when the bones comprising the skull are partially or completely broken, making the brain more vulnerable to injury.
- Diffuse axonal injury – This type of injury does damage to the brain cells. While not always outwardly visible, it can be one of the most dangerous types of brain injury.
Head and Brain Injuries Commonly Occur in Auto Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists brain injury as one of the most common types of injuries resulting from automobile crashes. This is likely because of the nature of what occurs in a typical car accident.
When a car accident takes place, this type of trauma can result from one’s head striking the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield or from being struck by flying debris. The brain can also be violently shaken by the force of the impact.
Falls are the leading cause of TBI in the United States, contributing to 40.5 percent of the cases reported each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Motor vehicle accidents are the third-leading cause of TBI (14.3 percent).
Head injuries from car accidents can be life-threatening. They have the potential to impact nearly every aspect of an auto accident victim’s life, including their home and personal life, their work and their relationships.
All drivers should be aware of the following facts about head and brain injuries in car accidents (based on information from the CDC):
Traumatic brain injuries due to motor vehicle accidents result in more than 200,000 emergency room visits each year.
Nearly 60,000 people are hospitalized due to serious head injuries in car accidents each year.
Nearly 17,000 deaths occur each year as the result of TBI caused by car accidents.
Among TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children and young people ages 5 to 24.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of hospitalizations due to TBI for people ages 44 and younger.
Minor Head and Brain Injuries May Resolve On Their Own
According to Healthline, the treatment for a head or brain injury depends on both the specific type of injury and the severity.
While a serious head injury from a car accident may require hospitalization and surgery to repair the damage, more minor injuries may resolve on their own.
Healthline states that treatment for minor head and brain injuries often includes taking over-the-counter pain medicines. (However, aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided as they have the potential to make bleeding worse.)
If you have suffered a minor head or brain injury, it is important to allow the injury to heal and to avoid re-injuring yourself. You should also avoid strenuous activities in which there is the potential to jar or bump your head.
No head or brain injury should be taken lightly. Healthline advises that even a minor head injury should be watched to ensure symptoms do not worsen. Also, someone who has suffered a recent head injury should be awakened every few hours from sleep to check for worsening symptoms.
Traumatic Brain Injury Can Occur Even if There is No Loss of Consciousness
When dealing with potentially serious head injuries as the result of car accidents, the Mayo Clinic advises that it is important to remember that the symptoms of TBI are not always obvious, and a TBI can occur even if there is no loss of consciousness.
You should be aware of the subtle symptoms which may indicate a TBI has occurred, such as:
So, as you can see, in order to prevent permanent damage and potentially life-threatening harm, it is important to seek medical care immediately if you have been involved in an accident – even if your symptoms appear minor.
Get Help from Our Experienced New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the attorneys of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. We have extensive experience in this area of the law, and we are truly passionate about protecting the rights of accident victims and their families. We can get to work on your case right away.
It starts with a free consultation. We can answer all of your questions and describe the legal options that are available to you, which may include filing for compensation that goes beyond personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.