Motor vehicle accidents and falls cause most of the traumatic brain injuries that people suffer annually in our country.
Even if you are in a car crash as seemingly minor as a rear-end collision, it can result in a life-changing brain injury.
A little accident background
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 2 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries every year. About 286,000 such injuries are the result of car crashes. Some experts believe the number may be considerably higher because not all brain injuries are recorded. The reason is that symptoms are not always apparent right after the crash and therefore do not show up in a police report.
Types of TBI
There are two forms of traumatic brain injury. The least common is the open form in which a foreign object penetrates the skull and then the brain. The closed form results from a blow to the head. For example, when another vehicle strikes yours from behind, your head could hit the steering wheel. The sudden impact could also cause your passenger to hit her head on the dashboard and both of you could sustain concussions that would not be immediately evident.
Prompt medical attention
In a rear-end collision, you may think you feel fine, except for your jangled nerves; you may be more concerned about the damage to your car than any possible injury to yourself. However, in a matter of hours or days symptoms may appear. These might include headache, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise, trouble with balance or trouble concentrating. You could even experience a change in personality and uncharacteristic bouts of depression or anxiety. This is why you should seek prompt medical attention following a vehicle crash of any kind.
Helping your cause
A medical report ties your injuries to the vehicle accident. Any insurance company will want this information, and from a legal standpoint, this plus the police report and any other information you can provide will help your case. With time and treatment, you may be able to recover from a traumatic brain injury, but depending on the severity, you could deal with the effects of TBI for the rest of your life.