What Should I Know About A Car Accident Brain Injury?
If you are in a car crash, you should seek out a medical evaluation. This is true even if you don't feel like you were injured since internal head injuries can be hard to self-diagnose.
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What Should I Know About A Car Accident Brain Injury?

Apr 16, 2017 Townsend Law LLC Car Accident

Car crashes can wreak havoc on the body. The more violent the car crash, the more serious the injuries are in most cases. One of the most troubling car accident injuries and often left undiagnosed in the period immediately following a car accident is a traumatic brain injury, TBI for short.

If you are in a car accident, you should seek out a medical evaluation. Brain injury from car accidents can sometimes not show symptoms until later. This is true even if you don’t feel like you were injured. Emergency rooms treat head injuries from car accident victims as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.

Internal head injuries are often hard to self-diagnose, as head trauma can result in blood clots or a diffuse axonal injury (DAI). This occurs when the car accident forces are such that the brain itself hits the inside hard bone of the skull, causing stretching and tearing of nerve fibers and damaged brain cells and tissue. An open head or penetrating injury, where there are contusions, lacerations, and bleeding from the skull, are signs someone has experienced a serious head injury. The effects of a head injury, such as a diffuse axonal injury, may not show for quite some time after the motor vehicle accident.

The effects of damaged brain tissue that lead to brain damage can have more obvious effects, such as loss of consciousness, reduced brain function, memory loss, long-term impairments, and other quality of life-impacting serious injuries, all from the negligence of someone else in an auto accident.

It is imperative that you see a medical professional for proper medical care after a car accident or other serious head injury. Suppose you or someone you love was hurt due to the negligence of another party. In that case, you might also consider seeking legal services to find your maximum compensation under the law to help with medical bills, ongoing care providers, medical treatment, emergency room costs, and more.

Here are common questions and answers about car crashes and brain injuries/head trauma:

Do I Have To Hit My Head To Suffer A Brain Injury?

You don’t have to hit your head during the accident to suffer from a brain injury. Some brain injuries are caused by the violent shaking of the head, such as the diffuse axonal injury discussed earlier. Think about the shaken baby syndrome, and you can get the gist of how serious these life-threatening injuries might be. Always seek medical attention after an auto accident, to have x-rays taken or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan taken to ensure that all areas of the brain are healthy.

Will I Know Right Away That I Have A Brain Injury?

Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury won’t be evident right away. It might be a few days or weeks before you know you suffered a brain injury. This is one reason why having a medical evaluation, x-rays, or CT scans and following up with your doctor are important after you are in a car accident. All brain injuries are serious, and the thought of a mild traumatic brain injury can be misleading.

What Symptoms Should I Watch For?

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury vary based on the location and severity of the injury. Depending on the level of brain trauma and type of traumatic brain injury sustained, there can be a variety of symptoms.

One of the main symptoms of a traumatic brain injury is a headache. Other symptoms are also possible but might not show up in all cases. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Trouble concentrating

More serious signs of a brain injury include losing consciousness or having blood or fluid leak out of the ears and skull fractures, which can be more devastating from an auto accident than a gunshot wound.

You should seek medical care if you are in a car accident and have any signs of a traumatic brain injury. This is true even if you feel like something isn’t right, so you, your family members, and loved ones can rest easy knowing you have been checked out and do not need hospitalization or other medical treatment.

Brain trauma, specifically traumatic brain injuries, are among adults’ most common causes of disability and death.

When Will These Symptoms Show Up?

You might notice the brain injury symptoms while you are still at the scene of the accident. This is likely the case if you bang your head during the accident. If you don’t notice the symptoms right away, you might still have a traumatic brain injury. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can show up days or even weeks after the event that caused the injury. For this reason, you should pay attention to how you feel for some time after the rear-end crash.

Type of Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI is a term that covers different types of serious head injuries. The two main types are closed-brain injuries and penetrating injuries.

Closed brain injuries include:

Diffuse axonal injury

A DAI is where brain trauma from the brain hits the inside of the skull, causing tearing or shearing of the brain’s connecting nerve fibers and damaging the brain cells in those areas. This can happen, and there can be no outward signs of an injury, which is why seeking proper medical care and medical treatment is so important in these cases.


A concussion is among the most common types of traumatic brain injury and is caused by sudden movement or jolt to the brain. Memory loss, dizziness, and confusion can all happen from this type of brain trauma.


Contusions are bruises and bruising around the site of an impact. When it concerns head trauma, which is a brain contusion or bleeding in the brain. In the worst cases, these may even need to be removed surgically and require intensive medical treatment.


Considered one of the worst types of TBI, coup-contrecoup means that there was an injury to your brain in two places, causing contusions on either side of the brain. This can happen from not wearing a seat belt and hitting the steering wheel at high speed or from an impact on the side of the skull that causes injury to the other side of the brain from any object.

Open brain injuries:

Penetrating injuries, or open brain injuries, are due to lacerations or cuts where glass or something else has penetrated the skull and exposed or cut into the brain. Unlike other TBI cases, it is clear that the accident victim has been seriously injured, hemorrhaging, and in need of immediate medical care.


Most brain traumas are found with Computer Tomography, or CT for short. This technology allows for detailed images of the anatomical structures of the brain. Computed tomography is among the most common medical treatments for accident victims.

(Disclaimer – this is not medical advice, and ANY medical decisions should be made with a qualified medical professional)

What Options Do I Have For Compensation After An Accident Causes A Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury can lead to medical interventions, such as surgery, prescription medications, and rehabilitative therapy. In these cases, you might have to miss time from work. The loss of your income, even temporarily, might devastate you financially.

You can seek compensation for the injuries you suffered in the car crash. You can seek compensation from the driver who rear-ended you. Other parties, including that driver’s insurance company, might also be named in your civil lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI due to the negligence of another, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for help.

Is a TBI Considered a Serious Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries can be very serious. Some of these injuries can lead to global defects that can impact every aspect of the victim’s life. For example, a person with a severe open head injury or traumatic brain injury might be unable to work. Some patients might die because of these injuries. There can be swelling of the blood vessels, blood clots, brain damage from injured brain tissue, or bruising of the brain (or brain contusions). The CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) shows that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be quite serious. The help of a neuropsychologist can help aid in the recovery from these injuries.

What Are The Impacts That I Might Have To Deal With?

Victims of traumatic brain injuries might miss out on income. They might have trouble living life like they are accustomed to. The victim’s family members can also suffer because of the injury. Children, for example, might have trouble adjusting to the injury. Young children might wonder what happened to their parents and why their parents can’t interact with them in the usual manner.

A brain injury changes your life right away. From the moment you wake up in the hospital, you’re going to be able to tell that things are different. You may experience an altered mental status or memory loss, not being able to remember where you are or who you are. You might have difficulty speaking or walking. Depending on what parts of the brain the injury is, you may even lose your sight or hearing.

You may also suffer additional symptoms from a severe TBI, such as not being able to use limbs from the opposite side of the areas of the brain that are injured or experiencing a sudden loss of consciousness or reduced brain function.

One of the worst scenarios is when someone slips into a coma. There is a scale used to measure the depth of the coma called the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The GCS will range from 3 to 15 points and determines what level of brain injury has been suffered (a mild TBI, moderate TBI, or severe traumatic brain injury).

These are symptoms that not only affect the sufferer, they affect his or her loved ones as well. They will experience and live with a person who has changed as a result of the traumatic brain injury. That fact is only made worse by the notion that a negligent or otherwise reckless driver caused the accident that led to the sufferer’s traumatic brain injury.

Do I Have Any Legal Recourse For The Effects Of The Crash?

You could seek compensation for the effects of the crash if the cause were another person’s negligence. Your or your loved one‘s personal injury claim can include compensation for all the damages you suffered because of the car accident, including non-economic and economic damages.

The injuries that you suffer in this car accident could be minor in nature, or they could be very serious. In fender benders and more minor accidents, it is uncommon for serious injuries but they can still happen, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, concussions, or other injuries. However, in major accidents, serious or even catastrophic injuries can occur. In these cases, it is imperative for accident victims to know their legal standing and fight for their rights after the crash.

The financial burden that can occur after an auto accident can be immense, from long-term medical bills, expensive ct scans or scans from a magnetic resonance imaging machine, as well as the hospitalizations resulting from the car accident.

Also, be aware that you won’t always need to go to court for this after you file your lawsuit. It is common for these civil lawsuits to be settled out of court. If you live in the Kansas City area and have been affected by a car accident, consult with Townsend Law, LLC attorneys.



You can contact our law firm today and receive a free consultation with an injury attorney to discuss your individual case, the type of injury you sustained, why you sustained this severe injury, and what your options are moving forward.

Call us today at 816-408-6541 or fill out our contact form for your free case evaluation of your traumatic brain injury.

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