Car wrecks and brain injuries

Motor vehicle collisions can devastate victims, especially those who were in severe wrecks. One possible injury that can occur is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These can range from concussions from which people typically recover to global injuries that have little recovery potential.

Brain injuries are troubling for a number of reasons. One problem is that you might not initially realize that your injury is serious. Another is that the impacts of these injuries might haunt you for years to come, even if you were only diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion.

While falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, car accidents aren't far behind. Someone in a car wreck can hit his or her head on something in the vehicle, which can injure the brain. Another possibility is that the violent motion of the impact will cause the brain to bang against the skull. Finally, objects can penetrate the skull during a collision.

Symptoms of TBIs

While it is possible that a person will be aware of a head injury right away, e.g., in the case of a penetrating injury, this isn't always the way it happens. In many cases, it might be the next day or even days later before you realize that there is something wrong.

There are many symptoms indicating a traumatic injury occurred. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or trouble understanding
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Problems with memory
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Behavioral changes

Other symptoms might also be present. In severe cases, brain fluid might drain from the ears and speech may be slurred. These are signs that immediate medical attention is necessary.

Treatment and prognosis

The treatment and prognosis of these injuries depends on the type of injury and the area of the brain that is injured. In minor cases, rest might be all that is required. Surgical intervention, medication management and physical therapy might be necessary after a more serious traumatic brain injury.

Some impacts of these brain injuries can make every aspect of life difficult. It is possible that serious traumatic brain injuries will require the victim to stop working or to limit their time at work. The most severe injuries could require lifelong medical and personal care.

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