Many people know that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk after a car accident, especially one in which the head has been hit, jostled, or injured. It’s one of the reasons that standard care advice for people who have been in auto accidents is to visit a doctor. A concussion, for example, may not present symptoms immediately, but could have life-threatening consequences. A physician can help rule out brain injury, including concussion.
Brain Injuries After a Car Accident
Brain injuries are surprisingly common after an auto accident. Of the 2 million brain injuries suffered in the United States every year, more than 14% are caused by traffic accidents. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the third most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), behind falls and being struck by an object.
Roughly 50,000 people die of TBI every year, and 17% of these fatalities are caused by vehicle collisions.
TBI also contributes to 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million emergency department visits annually, according to the CDC.
Be Aware of Brain Injury Symptoms
Given the widespread nature of brain injuries in the wake of car accidents in the Los Angeles area, it’s a good idea to be aware of both the nature of the injuries and their symptoms.
There are two types of brain injuries, in general: open and closed.
An open brain injury is one in which the head has been penetrated. If glass from a windshield or wreckage has penetrated the head, for example, a person may suffer an open brain injury.
In a closed brain injury, there is no penetration. However, the brain can be jostled severely in the cranium if the impact of an accident, for example, has caused the head to move back and forth. This is the type of injury that football players suffer, for example, and which can cause concussions.
- Drowsiness and/or fatigue
- Headache, nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion and/or disorientation
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Dizziness and/or loss of balance
- Pupils dilated, or unequally dilated
- Blurred vision
- Ringing ears (tinnitus)
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Memory or concentration issues
- Mood changes, including signs of being depressed, irritable, or anxious
A physician should check anyone who has been in a car accident involving the head for concussion. They will check pupil dilation, for instance.
These symptoms may not manifest immediately. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, being aware and monitoring possible symptoms is a very good idea.
Need a Brain Injury Lawyer in Southern California?
If you need legal advice about an auto accident in the Los Angeles region, contact the Salamati Law Firm today. We are experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorneys. Our investigators can uncover the true causes of your accident and gather strong evidence to support your claim for monetary compensation. We are relentless in fighting for the rights of those who have had their lives drastically impacted due to injury in Southern California.
Your case will be reviewed by seasoned lawyers. An initial consultation is at no cost to you.
Additional “brain injury symptoms after a car accident” resources:
- Black, Peter M., Patricio C. Gargollo, and Adam C. Lipson, the Dana Foundation. Brain Trauma, Concussion, and Coma. Brainline. WETA Public Television. https://www.brainline.org/article/brain-trauma-concussion-and-coma.
- Masters, Jacob. Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury Society, October 27, 2014. http://www.bisociety.org/car-accidents-traumatic-brain-injury/.
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. Basic Information. TBI: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html