A motor vehicle collision involves such extreme force that it’s not surprising that people end up with brain injuries after a wreck. In fact, car crashes are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), along with falls and violence.
Sometimes, these injuries prove fatal. Other times, they leave someone with lingering symptoms and lifelong medical expenses, as well as diminished earning potential. There are many ways for someone to incur a TBI, including many different experiences during a car crash. Being too close to an explosion after a collision could cause a brain injury, as could penetrating injuries caused by glass or other shrapnel. However, most TBIs that relate to car crashes are the result of one of two types of incidents.
Blunt force trauma
Some people hit their heads during a car crash. Maybe the airbags don’t deploy, or perhaps there’s lateral force and they are in the backseat. If someone hits their head on the dashboard, the window or another part of the car, the blunt force trauma that they suffer can cause bruising and swelling of the brain inside the skull. When people hit their heads, especially if they black out or notice a headache afterward, they may need to see a doctor for an evaluation to rule out the possibility of a TBI.
Violent vehicle motions
Some car crashes lead to a vehicle spinning in circles as it moves down the road after getting hit. Other crashes may force a vehicle to roll over entirely. The rough and violent motions of a vehicle during and immediately after a crash can shake someone up so badly that it damages their brain inside their skull. The skull, which serves to protect the brain, can also damage it if the brain moves too roughly and rapidly because of a car crash.
People may overlook the early warning signs of a TBI at the scene of a crash without professional medical review. Anyone in a collision who may have experienced a TBI may benefit from medical evaluation for a faster diagnosis. Learning more about how car crashes cause brain injuries might help people make the right choices about treatment and compensation claims after a wreck.