Car accidents can cause serious brain trauma

Car accidents can cause traumatic brain damage, which can be severely debilitating to injury victims.

People who are involved in a car accident run the risk of receiving a number of injuries, such as broken bones, lacerations and spinal cord damage. Motor vehicle accidents are also one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries, which send countless people to hospital emergency rooms every year. From minor fender benders to catastrophic auto collisions, any type of forceful impact can result in brain damage.

How does brain damage occur?

The brain, which is composed of soft tissue, is cushioned by several membranes and sits suspended in the skull cavity. If a person should experience a sudden jolt, it can cause the brain to smash into the hard bone of the inner skull. As a result, the soft brain tissue may tear, bruise, bleed and swell. Not only can this cause immediate injuries, but the damage may continue to occur for several days, weeks or even months after the actual incident took place.

What to look for

While the signs of moderate to severe brain damage may be readily apparent, the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries may be left obvious. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, these the signs of brain damage may include the following:

  • Persistent headaches that increase in severity
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble seeing, hearing or tasting
  • Trouble sleeping, constant fatigue
  • Twitching or numbness in the extremities

Symptoms of TBI will differ depending on what area of the brain is damaged. For example, damage in the frontal lobe may affect a person's memory and/or personality.

Diagnosis and treatment

Brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose, as traditional screening devices may not show damage in the brain's white matter. However, early detection is key. Studies show that patients who are diagnosed early can receive immediate treatment and often have a better overall outcome. Once the area of damage is found, physicians can customize a treatment plan based on the patient's specific needs. Treatment may include occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychological counseling, physical therapy and medical supervision, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Recovering from your injuries

If you have received brain damage or any other type of injury as a result of a car accident, you may be faced with significant medical expenses. You may be unable to return to work while you recover, which can make it hard to make ends meet. A personal injury attorney in California may be able to help by looking at the details of your case and exploring your legal options. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages from work and even the emotional trauma you've experienced as a result of another person's negligent actions.