Most people do not realize it, but serious brain injuries can be a result of automobile collisions even when the impact is fairly low-speed. Occasionally, they can even happen when passengers are otherwise uninjured if other factors like whiplash are at play. This is because traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can stem from a variety of causes, including severe concussion. They can also seriously impair one’s ability to function professionally and personally, leading to lost income and serious health consequences.
These facts demonstrate that traumatic brain injury has become a major cause of injury and illness in the United States:
- TBI is the cause of approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths in the United States.
- Effects can range from anywhere between days and the rest of one’s life.
- Emotional functioning is often affected in addition to cognition and motor skills.
- Motor vehicle crashes represent the third leading cause of TBI, with 14 percent of all cases tracing back to it.
To really understand what these facts mean, you have to understand how they fit together. When an accident victim has experienced a TBI, the injury is on the brain itself, and often there is some internal bruising or bleeding. Typically, those who live through the first few days after a TBI survive, but the amount of impairment and the type are often unknown for some time. Symptoms tend to present themselves over time, and it can take years for a patient’s recovery to plateau into a state that represents a new normal.
When motor vehicle accidents lead to TBI
If you or someone you love has experienced traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Once you have some idea of the severity of the injury and the situation is stable, it is also important to talk to an attorney. Obtaining legal advice will help you to understand whether or not the other party is liable for the accident and what you can expect the next steps to be toward seeking some kind of settlement and closure. Even if you believe you were at fault, understanding how your insurance company will respond to the disclosure of a TBI and the related medical expenses is very important.
Traumatic brain injury can be difficult to understand and even more difficult to properly treat because the symptoms develop and change so much as the brain heals that the effects can be hard to predict. To take care of your medical needs and lost wages, you need to talk to an attorney with the experience to navigate the claim and settlement process.