Motor vehicle collisions are typically abrupt and unexpected. The consequences that they inspire can range from inconvenient to life-altering. The violence involved in a collision can easily lead to serious injuries that result in permanent consequences for the occupants of either vehicle.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the more common and most concerning severe injuries possible after a motor vehicle collision. Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of a TBI, it’s important that those who experience a major collision understand a few basics about these injuries.
A victim doesn’t have to hit their head
One of the biggest myths about brain injuries is that people have to suffer blunt-force trauma to seriously hurt their brains. However, collisions can cause brain injury through multiple different mechanisms. Shrapnel that penetrates the skull could cause a brain injury. Even the rapid motion of the vehicle during the crash could also cause swelling or bleeding of the brain.
Symptoms are different from person to person
Brain injury symptoms can be drastically different depending on the circumstances. For some people, a TBI might result in slurred speech, blurry vision or severe nausea. For others, a brain injury might lead to issues with motor coordination or balance. Cognitive and memory consequences are also often reported. There are a host of different symptoms possible, and people often fail to recognize some of the early warning signs of brain injuries symptoms vary to such a significant degree.
Symptom onset can take time
People sometimes assume that they are perfectly fine after a car crash even though they have a TBI. The bleeding and swelling of the brain may need to continue for several days before someone has significant, concerning symptoms. However, medical professionals could potentially diagnose someone very quickly after a car crash via a proper evaluation. Anyone who blacks out during a crash or experienced a particularly violent collision may need to see a medical professional even if they don’t notice immediate symptoms to rule out the possibility of a TBI.
Symptoms of a TBI may eventually improve or may persist for the rest of someone’s life. Navigating an insurance claim after a TBI requires an understanding of the long-term costs associated with this kind of harm and may often lead to litigation, as insurance coverage may not be sufficient. As a result, seeking legal guidance promptly is usually a good idea.