Every year, thousands of Americans suffer from traumatic brain injuries.
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of these injuries.
People often don’t know that they have a brain injury, especially if they don’t have any external injuries. In this post, we’ll tell you what types of brain injuries you can get during a car accident and how to look out for them.
Brain Injuries Commonly Caused by Car Accidents
If you’re feeling dizzy, nauseous, or disorientated after a car accident, you may have suffered one of the following injuries.
A concussion occurs when there is a blow to the head, a sudden movement, or a violent shaking. On their own, a concussion is usually a minor injury. However, if more than one concussion is sustained in a short period of time, there can be complications.
You don’t have to lose consciousness in order to sustain a concussion. Tell-tale head injury symptoms to look out for include headaches, memory loss, disorientation, and lack of concentration.
Concussions can have serious long-term effects and should always be given medical attention.
A contusion is a bruise on the brain. These injuries are caused by a direct blow to the head.
After impact, blood vessels break and leak under the skin. In severe cases, swelling can occur. This is particularly dangerous, as it can stop certain parts of the brain from receiving oxygen.
In a car accident, a contusion is most likely to be caused by a driver hitting their head on the steering wheel or window of their car.
After suffering a contusion, patients often experience dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, and nausea.
3. Diffuse Axonal Injury
A diffuse axonal brain injury occurs in car accidents which involve abrupt stops after traveling at high speed. When a driver crashes in this way, their brain doesn’t move at the same speed as their skull. As a result, structures that connect the brain to the spinal cord become torn.
Damage can be minimal, with only microscopic tears, or can be severe, with lifelong or even fatal consequences.
4. Penetrating Injury
In some car accidents, external objects can break through the skull and penetrate the brain tissue on impact.
These can include glass or metal pieces or even fragments of the skull. In minor cases, these fragments can be removed during surgery without causing any long-term effects. However, this kind of injury is often fatal.
5. Coup, Contrecoup & Coup-Contrecoup
A coup brain injury occurs at the site of impact, while a contrecoup brain injury occurs on the opposite side. A coup-contrecoup is a combination of both.
This type of injury happens when an impact is so great that it causes the brain to move around inside the skull. As a result, bruising is sustained on both sides. Symptoms often mirror those of other brain injuries but depend on the area of the brain that’s affected.
What to Do If You’ve Sustained a Brain Injury
If you have suffered one of the above brain injuries in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention.
The second thing you should do is contact a lawyer.
You may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and the damage to your car. Read more about personal injury lawyers to find out how we can help you.