A traumatic brain injury or TBI is caused by enduring a direct blow or sudden jolt to the head, or by a penetrating injury. The trauma of this force can cause the brain to shift in the skull or interfere with the way it uses chemicals and energy.
Some cases of TBI are short-term, however, many endure long-term brain damage. Falls and car accidents are the top causes of these damaging brain injuries. Many car accident victims are surprised to discover that they have a traumatic brain injury even when their accident wasn’t that severe. This is because you do not need to come into contact with your steering wheel, car door, or headrest to jolt your head.
Brain injuries have the potential to change your life and create hardship. If you or a loved one has endured this type of injury, speaking with a personal injury attorney may be instrumental in recovering compensation from a negligent driver.
Symptoms of TBI That Car Accident Victims Should Know About
Traumatic brain injuries can vary in their physical and psychological effects. You may notice these symptoms immediately, or you may not realize something is wrong until days or weeks after your crash.
It’s important for anyone who is involved in a car accident to get medical treatment in the event of a TBI. When caught promptly, you can be treated and have a better chance of recovery.
There are various stages of TBI from mild to severe. If you have a mild traumatic brain injury, you may be plagued with headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, problems with speech, loss of balance, or blurred vision. For moderate to severe cases of TBI, your symptoms may additionally include loss of consciousness, convulsions, weaknesses in fingers and toes, profound confusion, loss of coordination, agitation, and slurred speech.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents
When you are in a car accident, do not refuse medical treatment when emergency medical services arrive on the scene. You will want to be checked for these different types of traumatic brain injuries.
Worrying about the cost of the medical bills is not a sufficient reason to ignore receiving treatment. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover your damages from the crash to cover your medical expenses and other losses associated with your injuries.
A concussion is just one type of TBI that can happen in a car crash, and it tends to happen often. This is usually caused when an injured victim’s head collides with the steering wheel, dashboard, or car door. Concussions can be mild or severe, and prompt treatment can ensure that any bleeding and swelling of the brain is taken care of immediately.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
From the force of the impact in a vehicle collision, the brain can strike the internal hard bone within the skull. Known as a diffuse axonal injury, it can damage the brain structure and tear nerve tissues. Depending on the severity, it could cause temporary or permanent brain damage. Some injury victims may become comatose because of it, and others may not survive.
Contusion is another word for a bruise, and when it happens within the head from a direct impact, it is caused by bleeding in the brain. Contusions are often serious injuries, especially if the bruised area is large. Symptoms often include severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
A penetrating injury is an open head wound, caused by glass, metal, and other objects that puncture the skull in a car accident. This type of TBI needs to be treated critically as it can result in impaired communication skills and motor function.
What Should You Do If You Have TBI from an Accident?
One of the most important steps to take if you’ve been jolted in a car crash or directly hit your head is to get medical treatment. The sooner you get the proper tests and treatment for this injury, the less likely it will be life-threatening in nature.
This also serves another purpose since you’ll need to make a car accident claim. Delaying treatment is often seen as negative by the insurance company. The reasoning behind this is that if you were injured, you shouldn’t have waited for treatment. They may also attempt to dispute or deny your claim on the grounds that it was not caused by this accident.
Medical records for your treatment can serve as strong evidence and documentation to make your financial recovery through compensation. Traumatic brain injuries can often turn fatal when they are ignored.
Once you have undergone medical examination, evaluation, and treatment for TBI, you should not hesitate to get legal representation. There will be many forms, waivers, and releases that you’ll be pushed to sign. These things are confusing enough without a head injury, and having a legal representative to wade through everything will be to your benefit.
The biggest reason to speak to an attorney after suffering a traumatic brain injury is to have them negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Most injury victims don’t know that the settlement the insurer first offers likely doesn’t take all damages into account. By accepting it, you can not pursue further compensation, and you may soon realize that the amount you accepted is not nearly enough to cover all your medical treatments, lost wages, or your mental anguish.
Take the Right Steps After Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can completely change your life. Some people are never the same afterward, all because someone else was negligent. If your traumatic brain injury causes permanent brain damage, you may no longer be able to continue in your career.
After getting medical treatment, the most important step for TBI is contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. The California personal injury lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP have two convenient offices in San Jose and Campbell. Set up a free consultation to discuss your traumatic brain injury and your legal rights. The advice you’ll receive is priceless and comes with zero obligation.