If you bumped your head in an auto accident, it may not seem severe at first. In fact, there may be no bleeding or immediate bruising. However, you may have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which should never be taken lightly.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
When a TBI occurs, the impact causes the brain to hit against the inner lining of the skull, resulting in damage to brain tissue and blood vessels.
Remember, it’s not necessary to actually hit your head to sustain a TBI; these injuries can be caused by any violent motion of the head that causes the brain to move back and forth inside the skull. They are often attributed to:
- Rear-end accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
The most common injuries TBI crash victims sustain include:
- Coup-contrecoup brain injuries: This type of TBI may occur during a high-impact crash such as a head-on collision. When the brain hits against the inner lining of the skull on the opposite side of impact, crash victims can lose consciousness.
- Concussions: This type of TBI is the most common—but remember that no TBI is truly minor. The brain often hits the inner lining of the skull on the side of impact.
- Brain contusions: When a crash victim sustains a concussion or other TBI, a brain contusion can occur. This involves bleeding under the skin.
- Diffuse axonal injuries: This type of TBI is very similar to a concussion but far more severe.
- Second impact syndrome: If you sustain a second TBI while you are still recovering from a previous TBI, there is the potential for catastrophic damage.
- Penetrating injuries: When an object pierces the skull, crash victims suffer from open-head injuries.
What Happens When You Sustain a TBI?
Crash victims who suffer head injuries after a crash often lose consciousness. However, victims don’t always lose consciousness. In some cases, a TBI manifests days after a crash.
Symptoms often include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Irritability and mood changes
- Aggressive behavior
- Increased fatigue
- Increased impulsiveness
- Loss of memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty communicating (writing, speaking, etc.)
- Sensory issues (loss of smell, taste, issues with hearing or seeing, etc.)
- Comatose state
Unlike other types of injuries, the damage from a TBI can be permanent. Once the neurons become damaged, they never make a full recovery. For some crash victims, this can cause lifelong complications.
The Recovery Process
Did you or a loved one suffer a TBI after an auto accident in Sioux Falls? Even with a minor TBI, it can take a significant amount of time to recover and may require MRIs, medication, therapy, and months away from work.
If you sustained a severe TBI, your injury may require a lifetime of treatment and coping. Your life may never be the same again.
That’s why it’s crucial that you understand your rights as a crash victim. You need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side fighting for you every step of the way. You shouldn’t be forced to pay out of your own pocket or give up your quality of life because of someone else’s negligent behavior. Contact Northern Plains Justice, LLP to schedule a free consultation today.