A violent crash can result in all kinds of catastrophic and life-changing injuries. A serious injury that is often diagnosed after a bad car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The long-term cost of care for a person with permanent brain damage can be astronomical. When the crash that caused the TBI was caused by a negligent driver, the victim should not be saddled with the expenses. Claims involving TBIs are some of the most difficult personal injury cases to resolve because the ultimate impact of the injury on the victim is not known at the time of the crash.
At Peterson & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience helping car accident victims with catastrophic injuries, including brain injuries. Our team knows how to determine the potential lifetime cost of a disabling injury and will not stop fighting until we get our brain injury clients the compensation they need now and in the future. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a Kansas City crash, reach out to us as soon as possible.
Catastrophic Crashes That Often Result in Traumatic Brain Injury
Even a minor fender-bender can cause a concussion, but the more violent the collision is, the more serious the brain injury can be. These kinds of crashes are the most likely to cause a disabling TBI:
- Head-on collisions. A head-on collision, where two vehicles collide front-to-front, can result in severe forces and sudden deceleration, leading to significant trauma to the head and brain.
- High-speed collisions. Crashes that occur at high speeds amplify the forces involved, increasing the risk of severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. The greater the speed at impact, the more catastrophic the potential outcome.
- Rollover accidents. Rollover accidents involve the vehicle flipping over or rolling multiple times. During these incidents, occupants may experience violent movements and impacts, increasing the likelihood of head and brain injuries.
- T-bone or side-impact collisions. In a T-bone or side-impact collision, the impact occurs on the side of the vehicle, potentially causing significant damage to the occupant's head and brain due to the limited protection on the sides of most vehicles.
- Multi-vehicle pileups. Pileup accidents involving multiple vehicles can create a chain reaction of impacts and collisions, often resulting in severe forces that can cause traumatic brain injuries to involved occupants.
- Rear-end collisions. While rear-end collisions may not always result in catastrophic outcomes, they can still lead to traumatic brain injuries, especially if the impact is forceful or occurs at high speeds.
- Crashes with large vehicles. Crashes involving large SUVs, trucks, or buses can be particularly devastating due to the significant size and weight disparity between the vehicles, potentially resulting in severe traumatic brain injuries.
- Crashes into fixed objects. Collisions with stationary objects, such as trees, poles, or concrete barriers, can cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle and its occupants, including traumatic brain injuries. Drivers that are run off the road into a fixed object by a negligent driver can hold that driver accountable.
Again, serious head trauma can occur in any type of accident. If you are diagnosed with any type of TBI after a crash with a negligent driver, you can demand fair compensation, even if it was not a violent crash.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even though the brain is protected by the skull, it is highly vulnerable to injury when the head suffers a blow or the body is tossed around violently.
In a car crash, a sudden impact or abrupt deceleration can cause the brain to collide with the skull, resulting in a concussion. Long-term consequences may include persistent headaches, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, sensitivity to light or noise, sleep disturbances, and increased risk of future concussions.
A contusion refers to a bruise on the brain's surface, typically caused by a direct impact to the head during a car crash, such as hitting the steering wheel or window. Depending on the severity and location of the contusion, long-term consequences can range from minor cognitive impairments to more significant challenges, such as motor function deficits, speech difficulties, or personality changes.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
DAI occurs when the brain rapidly accelerates or decelerates within the skull, causing widespread damage to the brain's axons (nerve fibers). In a car crash, the sudden and violent movement of the head can lead to DAI. This type of injury can cause cognitive impairments, memory problems, difficulty with attention and concentration, motor deficits, language difficulties, behavioral changes, and coma or persistent vegetative state in severe cases.
A penetrating brain injury occurs when an object—such as broken glass or metal fragments from the car—pierces through the skull and enters the brain. In a vehicle collision, this can happen due to shattering windshields or other objects inside the vehicle becoming projectiles. Potential outcomes depend on the severity and location of the injury and can include motor impairments, cognitive deficits, speech and language difficulties, sensory impairments, and increased risk of infections or seizures.
Coup-Contrecoup injuries occur when the force of impact causes the brain to move back and forth within the skull, resulting in injuries both at the site of impact and on the opposite side of the brain. In a car crash, this can happen when the head strikes an object and then rebounds in the opposite direction. Cognitive impairments, memory problems, difficulties with executive functions, mood disorders, and physical disabilities can result from this type of brain injury.
Potential Life-Long Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The long-term consequences of a brain injury are notoriously difficult to predict. Most people recover from minor concussions if they receive the proper medical treatment quickly, but other types of brain injuries can cause permanent brain damage and disabilities.
The brain is a complicated organ, and individuals can be affected in different ways, even after suffering the same type of injury. Depending on which area of the brain was injured and how bad the injury is, victims can experience the following long-term or permanent consequences:
- Cognitive impairments. TBIs can result in long-term cognitive difficulties, including problems with memory, attention, concentration, reasoning, problem-solving, and processing speed.
- Physical disabilities. Depending on the severity and location of the brain injury, individuals may experience physical impairments such as paralysis, weakness, coordination problems, balance issues, and difficulties with fine motor skills.
- Sensory impairments. TBIs can lead to sensory changes, including vision or hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), changes in taste or smell, and heightened or decreased sensitivity to touch.
- Speech and language disorders. Some individuals with TBIs may experience difficulties with speech production, language comprehension, word finding, and communication in general.
- Emotional and behavioral changes. TBI survivors often face emotional and behavioral challenges, such as mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, aggression, impulsivity, lack of emotional control, and changes in social behavior.
- Fatigue and sleep disorders. Many individuals with TBIs experience persistent fatigue and disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or changes in sleep-wake cycles.
- Headaches and seizures. Headaches, including migraines, are a common long-term consequence of TBIs. Additionally, some individuals may develop epilepsy and experience seizures.
- Psychological and psychiatric conditions. TBIs can increase the risk of developing psychological and psychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.
- Challenges with daily living. TBI survivors may encounter difficulties with activities of daily living, including self-care, maintaining employment, managing finances, and organizing and planning tasks.
- Social and relationship issues. Changes in behavior, cognition, and mood can impact relationships and social interactions. TBI survivors may face challenges in maintaining friendships, family relationships, and participating in social activities.
- Increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Some research suggests that individuals who have experienced a severe TBI may have an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, later in life.
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms after a car accident brain injury, you need a car accident lawyer who has a successful track record with brain injury cases.