As the victim of a car accident, there’s a lot you must now face. Not only is there a risk that your car is totaled, but there’s also the risk of injury. While you may have noticeable injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises, sometimes the impacts of an auto accident go unnoticed and unseen for months.
If you’ve recently been involved in an auto accident and suffered an injury, you’ll want to contact a Houston car accident lawyer, as you may be able to be compensated for medical costs, lost wages, and more.
Here’s what you need to know about head injuries and when you’ll want to seek medical and legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
When you think about the injuries sustained from a car accident, you more than likely think of things such as broken bones, scrapes, and bruises. However, head injuries are also quite common in motor vehicle incidents. A 2006 study found that, out of 1.4 million people, around 280,000 of them suffered from a motor vehicle induced traumatic brain injury. In fact, 20% of all brain damage is related to motor vehicle accidents, making it the second-largest method behind falling.
Depending on how the accident occurs, the head and neck may be subject to whiplash. When a car quickly decelerates, it’s not uncommon for the head to be unexpectedly twisted or tilted forward (or backward). When the head moves so suddenly, the brain moves as well.
The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells that communicate through delicate fibers. During an accident, these fibers can be stretched and damaged, which impacts the cells’ ability to communicate with each other. The brain is also subject to other injuries, such as bruising, tears, and even internal bleeding.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves any damage or destruction of the brain tissue. A TBI is often caused by a blow to the head and is usually the result of a car crash, a fall, or an assault.
Many car accident victims suffer from closed head injuries, which are caused when the head whips forward and back or side to side. This causes the brain to collide with the skull, which can cause torn blood vessels and bruised brain tissue. The frontal and temporal lobes are most commonly affected.
If you believe you’ve suffered a TBI because of an auto accident, you’ll want to contact a Houston accident attorney.
Types of Head Injuries
Head injuries range in severity. Some are minor and cause temporary side effects while others cause major damage that permanently impacts your life. There are many different head injuries that you can suffer from as a result of a car accident.
Keep reading to learn about some of the most common head injuries.
A concussion is a type of TBI. It occurs when the brain hits against the skull, usually as a result of a sudden change in movement. Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
Over time, concussions can also cause tinnitus, difficulty concentrating, and even personality changes. If you experience any of these symptoms after an auto accident, you’ll want to seek medical assistance.
A contusion is another type of TBI that is marked by bruises on the brain. Contusions can happen if a victim hits their head on a fixed object in their vehicle (i.e., a window or the steering wheel). This TBI can also happen if the victim is struck in the head by an external object.
Symptoms of a contusion include cognitive changes, numbness or tingling, slurred speech, difficulty balancing, and the inability to concentrate. You’ll want to work with a Houston personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered from a contusion or experience these symptoms.
When an external object penetrates the skull, the injury is called a penetrating head wound. Objects inside and outside of a vehicle can become projectiles that can cause severe injuries. In some instances, a penetrating head wound can cause serious complications and can even cause death.
A victim of a penetrating head wound may experience heavy blood loss, seizures, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, and coma.
Severe shaking and rotation of the head can lead to an injury that’s known as a diffuse axonal. This kind of injury often occurs when a vehicle abruptly stops. When the car stops, the brain isn’t moving as fast as the skulls. This head injury is most commonly seen in high-speed car accidents.
A victim suffering from a diffuse axonal injury will experience:
- Vomiting and nausea
This traumatic brain injury can also cause a loss of consciousness. If you were treated for a diffuse axonal, be sure to contact an auto accident lawyer in Houston to discuss your case.
A coup-contrecoup injury is caused when the brain is suddenly jerked within the skull. This head injury is most common in rollover collisions and other violent or forceful accidents. The impact causes the brain to hit both sides of the skull, which can cause damage on both sides of the brain.
Someone who has experienced a coup-contrecoup head injury is likely to experience swelling or bleeding in the brain, skull fractures, seizures, headache, and loss of consciousness. Long-term side effects may include tinnitus, memory issues, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Getting Medical Attention & Legal Consultation After an Accident
After an accident, you not only face the potential loss of your car but the loss of your health. If you’ve suffered from a head injury as the result of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation—but you don’t want to fight the legal battle alone!
At Johnson Garcia LLP, we offer a team of Houston personal injury lawyers that you can trust. Remember, any kind of traumatic brain injury can have lifelong impacts. We’re here to help clients who were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Call our office at (832) 844-6700 for a free case consultation.