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Traumatic Brain Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

Car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in teens and adults.  Of all types of injury, trauma to the brain is most likely to result in long-term disability or death. The Los Angeles practice of Salamati Law understands the intricacies of traumatic brain injuries caused by auto accidents and helps victims get the monetary compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love were diagnosed with a car accident TBI, attorney Sean Salamati will protect your rights, whether liability falls with a reckless driver, defective auto parts, or other reasons.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, car crashes are the top cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in adolescents aged 15 to 19. And according to recent statistics, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of hospitalizations for TBI treatment in Americans aged 15-44.

Suffering a serious TBI after a car accident can have a significant life-long impact on the victim and their family, since some people are not able to make a full recovery. With more than 20 years of motor vehicle accident litigation experience, the Los Angeles traumatic brain injury attorneys of the Salamati Law Firm have been helping victims of catastrophic personal injury rebuild their lives and recover the damages necessary for ongoing rehabilitation and medical needs.

Car Accident TBI

What happens to the brain in a car crash? The sheer force of impact thrusts the brain back and forth inside the skull. This jolting movement can bruise the brain, cause internal bleeding, or even damage delicate nerves. Unbelted drivers or passengers can also sustain a TBI from a deployed airbag, as it opens at a rate of 200 miles per hour.

Injury to the brain can also occur when the head strikes another object, like the dashboard, windshield or steering wheel. People can suffer concussions, contusions and more severe forms of TBI without penetrating injury.

In rollover crashes, occupants may suffer skull fractures and other dramatic open head injuries that require immediate medical treatment. In these open head injuries, metal, glass or other objects may cause irreparable trauma to the brain. Without prompt emergency treatment, victims are at risk of bleeding to death and developing a life-threatening swelling of the brain. Open head brain injuries are most commonly observed in accidents where the victim is thrown from the vehicle or crushed between the steering wheel and the roof, or another object. When you read about brain injury car accident stories, some of the most insidious effects happen in those who have closed head injuries, without penetration.

Blunt impact against a stationary object, or the violent bouncing movement of the brain inside the skull rarely results in outward symptoms. There is no blood, no open wounds, and victims may pay more attention to other obvious injuries like lacerations or broken bones. Symptoms of this kind of TBI can be delayed for days, weeks or longer. During this time secondary brain injury can take place, which can be even more destructive due to gradual brain swelling which is part of the body’s natural healing response.

Car accident head injury symptoms

Concussions and other closed brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, and often overlooked as the person may appear normal. In people with mild or moderate traumatic brain injury, it is frequently their friends or family who first notice unusual symptoms, be it fogginess, mood changes, memory loss or difficulty concentrating.

Traumatic brain injuries from car accidents can disrupt the brain’s blood circulation, causing cell damage and death that accumulates slowly over time. This in turn, can cause a slew of troublesome symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Blurred Vision
  • Balance problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Perceptual deficits
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Personality changes

In more severe cases of car accident TBI where nerves and tissues have been permanently damaged, the resulting symptoms can be devastating and affect all facets of the victim’s life. Basic functions like speaking can become difficult, mental processes are slowed down, and cognitive impairments can reduce quality of life. Research has also demonstrated that people with TBI are at a greater risk for developing dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Legal representation after a TBI

Brain injuries can result from many types of vehicle crashes, whether it’s a slow rear-end accident or a high-speed head-on collision. Because symptoms of brain trauma can be elusive after a crash, it’s imperative to get a medical evaluation regardless if you struck your head.

Diagnosed with a TBI after an auto accident in California? The Law Office of Sean Salamati will review your claim free of charge and explain your protections under the law.

Additional Resources on Car Accident-Related Brain Injury:

  1. org, Traumatic Brain Injury https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/related_conditions/traumatic-brain-injury
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
  3. MayField Brain and Spine, Traumatic brain injury https://www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-TBI.htm
  4. Forbes, Car Crashes Are The Leading Cause Of Fatal Head Trauma Among Teens https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/04/02/forget-football-car-crashes-are-the-leading-cause-of-fatal-head-trauma-among-teens/#57387c2770bd
  5. Journal of Traffic Injuries Prevention, Head injuries (TBI) to adults and children in motor vehicle crashes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28112983
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