According to the Centers for Disease Control, auto accidents are the second leading cause of hospitalizations for head injuries in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are especially dangerous because of how insidious they can be – a motor vehicle crash victim may notice no symptoms for days, weeks, or even months after the incident. In fact, often a loved one recognizes the impact of the head injury to the injured person before the injured person notices any changes himself or herself.
The sudden impact of a collision can cause the head and neck to suddenly snap back and forth, jostling the brain. Objects inside a vehicle, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, and loose items can cause potentially life-threatening injuries to the head and brain when the head strikes these objects, but it is well known that one can suffer a brain injury from the back-and-forth head snapping without striking anything.
If the skull is not broken and remains intact, that is called a closed head injury. If a projectile or bone fragments from a skull fracture penetrates the brain, that is known as an open head injury. Head injury symptoms depend on the severity of the injury and the affected area of the brain.
If you or a loved one has suffered head injuries because of a car accident in Michigan, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz will help you pursue your legal options.
Types of Head Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a disruption in the brain’s normal function due to a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury. Related head injuries include:
Concussion – Concussions occur when the brain strikes the inside of the skull, triggered by a snapping motion of the head and neck, shaking, or a direct blow. Challenging to diagnose, concussions are the most common form of head trauma, with symptoms such as:
• Loss of consciousness
• Sensitivity to noise and light
• Slurred speech
• Blurred vision and more
Rest is essential to recovery from a concussion, and treatment varies widely depending on the severity.
Contusion – A contusion is a bruise, and a head contusion happens when the brain hits the skull. Different from a concussion, a contusion is a localized injury, like a bruise when you might get on your shin. Contusions range from relatively minor to life-threatening.
Brain Bleeding and Hemorrhaging – A car accident can cause internal or intracerebral hemorrhaging that can sometimes be fatal.
Edema – Another term for swelling of the brain, edema can cause severe damage and even death.
Skull Fracture – The impact of a car accident or projectiles from or in the vehicle can fracture one’s skull, perhaps causing additional trauma, including bleeding and edema.
It is not unusual for people injured in car accidents to suffer from a combination of brain injuries. The long-term effects of TBIs are devastating. Some people never recover and need round-the-clock care. This is a tremendous weight for a family to carry and has far-reaching effects on finances, emotions, and relationships.
Most concussions, contusions, and other minor brain injuries heal within a short period with no long-term consequences. But if you or someone close to you begins to recognize that you are unusually angry or agitated, lose your temper more quickly than normal, or are unusually forgetful regarding things you should recall, those are common signs of a TBI.
Contact the Car Accident Attorneys at Sommers Schwartz
The brain injury lawyers at Sommers Schwartz will work you in the aftermath of a car crash. We have secured millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for clients and families injured in auto accidents. We work on a contingency fee-based structure, meaning you pay nothing until we produce results. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Sommers Schwartz immediately for a free consultation to learn how we can help.