Brain injuries are a common occurrence after a serious car accident. Many victims of car accidents may not realize that they have a brain injury because the symptoms of a brain injury may not occur instantly. If left untreated, a brain injury can cause a person to suffer from long-term or permanent issues. If you or a family member suffered a brain injury or head injury in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. At Reiff & Bily, we understand how a serious car accident can drastically affect your life. In this article, our personal injury attorneys explain how common brain injuries are after car accidents in Pennsylvania.
Types of Car Accidents that Can Cause Brain Injury
As our Philadelphia brain injury lawyers will discuss, there are several ways that an individual could suffer a brain injury during a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately two million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury every year. About 14% of these individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, because of a car accident. Unfortunately, the restraints in vehicles do not offer complete protection. Even with a seatbelt on, the impact from another vehicle can still cause your head to move and collide with hard surfaces inside your car.
Rear-end car accidents are one type of accident that can cause a person to sustain a brain injury. The sudden impact from a rear-end collision could cause a person’s head to swing forward and hit the steering wheel or possibly the windshield if they were not wearing a seatbelt. The impact with a hard surface like a steering wheel or windshield creates a high likelihood of sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Side-impact car accidents also have the potential to cause a brain injury, as the force from a side-impact crash could cause a person’s head to slam into a window. This impact may cause a person’s brain to move or press against the skull and cause the brain to swell. Additionally, head-on collisions also have a high likelihood of causing a brain injury. Head-on car accidents can cause a person’s head to strike the headrest with significant force and subsequently cause a severe head injury.
Common Head Injuries After Car Accidents
Various types of head and brain injuries can result from a car crash. Generally, there are two types of brain injuries: a traumatic brain injury and an acquired brain injury. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is caused by a blow to a person’s head. Unlike traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries are not likely to occur during a car accident, because they are caused by oxygen deprivation.
A concussion is likely the most common type of traumatic brain injury that occurs in a car accident. Concussions are typically caused when a victim sustains a blow to the head, and sometimes occur in conjunction with a whiplash injury. Common signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Amnesia regarding the car accident
- Persistent headaches
- Issues with focusing and memory
- Sensitivity to light and loud noises
- Psychological issues such as depression
A contusion or bruise on the brain is another common type of injury caused by car accidents. This injury is also caused by trauma to the head, usually related to striking the head on a window or steering wheel. The impact can also cause the brain to move inside the skull and form contusions in multiple areas of the brain.
The severity of the car crash usually determines the severity of a brain injury. While it is possible to suffer a head injury in low-speed accidents, it is more likely in high-speed crashes.
A brain injury can result in numerous health issues affecting all different systems of the body. TBI effects can range from mild and short-lived to severe and permanent, depending on the situation. Potential effects of a traumatic brain injury include sensory loss, varying levels of paralysis, difficulty balancing, problems with speech and communication, and difficulty processing information or forming memories.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Handling TBI Claims
Though treatment with medication, surgery, physical therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation can improve patient outcomes and give TBI victims a greater measure of independence, the repercussions are still devastating for crash survivors and their families. If you or a family member suffered a brain injury after a car crash, you should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer right away for legal help.
At Reiff & Bily, we have extensive experience dealing with complex auto accident and brain injury cases throughout Pennsylvania. Our car accident attorneys believe that you should not have to be burdened with medical bills because of the acts of a negligent motorist. To schedule a free consultation, call (215) 274-0072, or contact Reiff & Bily online.