The severity of car accidents can differ dramatically—instances of low-impact fender benders are common, but so are devastating head-on collisions. Whether you’ve been in a low-impact fender bender or a dramatic head-on collision, you may have sustained serious injuries, and one of the most common of these are traumatic brain injuries, or TBI.
What Is a TBI?
A TBI, or a traumatic brain injury, is a brain injury that is caused by an outside force, like a blow to the head. Over half of all TBI cases in the U.S. result from motor vehicle accidents.
This time of year is especially hazardous for drivers living in our neck of the woods. Wyoming’s roads are covered in ice and snow, making them slippery, and weather conditions often drastically reduce visibility as well. In order to stay safe throughout the rest of winter and beyond, here is our rundown on common types of TBIs and how to take care of yourself or your loved one if you’ve suffered a brain injury.
The Most Common Types of Brain Injuries From a Car Accident
There are many ways things could go during a car accident, literally and figurately. So many factors are involved in such accidents, no one can definitively pinpoint the exact causes of a brain injury until an accident occurs. A person’s head could strike a windshield, be punctured by flying debris, or suffer internal bruising due to whiplash.
The most common types of TBI are:
- Concussion: This common head injury is a form of TBI that may temporarily cause confusion, memory loss, difficulty speaking or seeing, or loss of balance.
- Contusion: A contusion is a type of bruise caused by a blow to the head. Contusions commonly occur in conjunction with concussions.
- Coup-Contrecoup: This type of brain injury occurs when an impact to the head causes the brain to strike the opposite side of the site of impact. This causes damage to both the site of impact and the opposite side of the brain.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): A DAI happens when one’s brain violently moves back and forth in the skull, causing the nerve axons to tear.
- Hematoma: This injury occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain and the bleeding clots.
- Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (TSAH): Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when bleeding occurs in the space surrounding the brain.
Various types of treatments can apply to each injury—from surgery to simply getting bed rest. Every brain injury is unique, so it is best to talk to a doctor if you are showing symptoms of a brain injury.
Symptoms of TBI
Common symptoms of mild TBI include:
- Small cuts, bumps, or bruises on the head and scalp
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of balance
- Loss of memory
- Loss of concentration
- Blurred vision
More serious TBI may be evident by the following additional symptoms:
- Deep lacerations or open wounds
- Severe, persistent headaches
- Blood or fluid coming out of the nose and/or ears
- Changes in behavior
- Convulsions or seizures
- Different pupil sizes
- Difficulty walking or speaking
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of short-term memory
- Numbness or weakness in one half of the body
When to Get Treatment
While there are symptoms associated with most brain injuries, a TBI can be invisible without going to a hospital for an examination. If your head was hit or cut or you experienced whiplash or anything else that may have affected your head, we recommend seeing a doctor, even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms. It is better to be safe than sorry especially with traumatic brain injuries, which get harder to treat the longer you wait on getting help.
Once you have received medical treatment, you might consider calling an attorney who can file a personal injury claim.
If your or your loved one’s TBI resulted from a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or reckless party, call Bailey Stock Harmon Cottam Lopez, L.L.P. Our Wyoming car accident attorneys can help you win compensation to cover the cost of your injuries as well as pain and suffering—now and into the future. Contact us today to learn more.