The human brain is an incredibly complex and fragile organ. Our skulls protect them from daily mishaps, but the powerful forces of a car crash can lead to brain injuries. A victim’s head may bounce off the vehicle’s interior or get hit by flying objects. Even when the head does not impact anything, shaking it violently, like in a rollover crash, can cause serious damage. When the brain is harmed, it is called a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries, even in their mildest form, can be hazardous and require immediate medical attention.
How is the Severity of a TBI Determined?
TBIs are categorized into four levels based on the seriousness of the injury. Doctors establish the severity by testing the patient’s consciousness using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) tool. A higher score on the test indicates a higher level of consciousness. The four levels of TBIs are:
The naming of these levels can be somewhat misleading because a mild TBI is still a very serious injury. The levels actually indicate the likelihood of fully recovering from the damage and the length of time that might take. For example, a mild TBI may only affect the brain cells for a short time, and many patients can recover completely. In contrast, someone with a moderate to severe TBI will have a much more challenging recovery. Their injury could result in permanent disabilities such as communication difficulties, memory problems, mood swings, changes in personality, chronic headaches, long-term mental health issues, and more.
What Kinds of TBIs Can Occur?
In addition to a level, TBIs are also categorized by the type of injury that caused the damage. There are two primary varieties of brain injuries: closed injuries, where the skull is intact, and open injuries, where the skull has been penetrated or broken. It is possible to have more than one type of TBI from a single accident. The kinds of TBIs that can occur from a car crash include:
- Brain hemorrhages: A hemorrhage is uncontrolled bleeding in the brain. While it is often contained in one area, it can be life-threatening.
- Concussions: The most typical kind of TBI which can vary widely in severity. It is the result of the brain hitting the skull after an impact.
- Contusions: Bruises on the brain that frequently occur in conjunction with concussions.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries: When the head suddenly hits a stationary object, the brain will hit the skull at the point of impact, then bounce back into the other side of the skull, causing injuries in multiple areas.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI): These tears occur in the brain tissue when the brain is shaken or twisted inside the skull. Considered one of the most severe brain injuries.
- Intracranial hematomas: Caused by blood pooling between the brain and skull or inside the brain itself. Can occur days to weeks after the initial injury and may be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
- Penetrating brain injury: This occurs when something pierces the brain. Survivors may face recurring seizures and epilepsy.
- Second impact syndrome: Having multiple TBIs in a short time frame magnifies the damages and effects, increasing the likelihood of serious harm.
If You Have Experienced a TBI in a Car Accident, How Can a Lawyer Help You?
Motor vehicle crashes are notorious for causing debilitating brain injuries. Victims can face long recovery times and possibly a lifetime of aftereffects. Your brain controls so much of your life, from your speech and moods to your sleep patterns and even your personality. When this essential organ is damaged, you may have a diminished ability to perform day-to-day tasks and struggle with interpersonal relationships. If you have suffered a TBI in a car accident, you deserve justice for the injuries and difficulties you’ve endured. A personal injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to and ensure you receive the care you need. Call our law office today to learn more about how we can help you: 303-500-1376.