Many people connect concussions and more serious brain injuries with sports-related incidents.
However, a traumatic brain injury is more common as the result of a vehicle crash than it is from an illegal hit on the football field.
Understanding a traumatic brain injury
There are two forms of TBI. The open form refers to an incident where an object pierces through the skull and into the brain. The much more common closed form results from a bump or a blow to the head. In a vehicle collision, the victim’s head could strike a window or the steering wheel, causing a TBI. Even a minor rear-end accident could result in a concussion, which is a mild form of brain injury.
Looking at numbers
According to the numbers gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2014, the latest available, around 2.87 million ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to TBI occurred that year. TBI-related motor vehicle crashes represent the leading cause of fatalities in certain age groups: 15 to 24, 25 to 34, and 75 and older. Hospitalization rates for such crashes were highest for people between 15 and 44 years of age.
Focusing on the future
A motor vehicle accident can result in many kinds of injuries, but the symptoms of a brain injury may not present right away. During the severe impact of a collision, the flow of adrenaline can mask certain injuries. In the case of TBI, symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory issues, vision problems, depression and more might not appear for hours or even days after the crash. This is why prompt medical attention is important. Some symptoms may disappear in a matter of weeks, but more serious brain damage can result in long-term cognitive problems. Victims may face mounting medical costs and temporary or even permanent loss of employment. However, if negligence by another was responsible for the injuries, the victim has a right to full and fair insurance compensation to cover current and future medical expenses and more.