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Traumatic Brain Injuries in a Car Accident


There are many ways a person can be harmed in a car crash. One of the most devastating injuries you can sustain is a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Upon sudden impact, you can be thrown forward, hitting your head against a dashboard or steering wheel. Even if you hit an airbag, the sudden velocity can keep your brain moving forward, causing it to impact the inside of your skull.

Every bodily function is directly connected to your brain. If it is damaged, the impact on your life can be enormous.

Types of Brain Injuries

Closed Injuries

A closed brain injury happens inside the skull. The skull remains intact, but the brain is still harmed. Sudden movements or impacts can cause the brain to move about. Sometimes, this results in impact with the skull. This could cause nerves and connections to overextend, snapping or breaking. When these nerves break, it is called a diffuse axonal injury.

Closed brain injuries range from mild to severe. A mild injury, for instance, may be a concussion that requires no treatment and eventually heals itself. A severe impact could cause brain bruising or bleeding. Areas surrounding the brain can be damaged, causing fluids to leak and spread around the brain itself.

Penetrating Injuries

A penetrating injury occurs when the skull is fractured or broken. Pieces of the skull can stab downward, “penetrating” the soft tissue beneath. This can rupture the areas containing protective fluids surrounding the brain, causing them to leak inward or outward. If a piece of skull is long and sharp enough, it can cut into the brain itself. Breaking and tearing can occur, leading to serious, sometimes deadly consequences.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Remember, the brain controls your entire body. Sometimes this control is in overt movements, the actions you choose. The brain sends signals to your arms, legs, jaw, and so on for your motor functions. It also controls involuntary action, such as digestive function, heartbeat, and more. When this crucial, critical organ is harmed, it can affect your ability to function. Below is a list of brain damage symptoms, but it does not represent all the potential ways a brain injury can affect your life.

Sleep Disorders

Brain damage can seriously affect proper rest. You could sleep far too much or not enough. It may be difficult to achieve a full night’s sleep or even begin sleeping. When you do sleep, your dreams could become hallucinations, or you could experience sleep paralysis. This makes it difficult to determine the difference between reality and dream.

Digestive Disorders

Recall that the brain controls involuntary functions, including food processing. With a TBI, you could experience nausea. It may be hard to keep food down, or you may not properly experience hunger. You could suffer from incontinence or constipation, depending on which part of the brain is affected.

Damaged Motor Function

To move the body, your brain sends signals to your extremities. If these pathways are damaged, any part of your movement can be affected. You could move too much, trembling or having appendages flailing wildly. You could also move too little, experiencing paralysis or very slow reaction times.

Sensory Dysfunction

Your brain sends signals down, and your senses send signals up. Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound are all intimately connected to the brain. When it is injured, senses can be cut off. You could lose your ability to see, smell, hear, and so forth. Some people experience “synesthesia,” where their senses are crossed. They feel like they can “hear” smells, “taste” sounds, etc.

Affected Speech

Speech is one of your basic motor functions which can be affected by a TBI. You could have slurred speech or develop a stutter. You may find it difficult to make the correct shapes with your mouth or tongue. Some parts of the brain are directly connected to language, and an injury can cause a disconnect. You could find it difficult to say the words you intend, or you could say incorrect words when you know the right ones.

Emotional Imbalance

Psychiatry has long understood how chemical imbalances in the brain affect mood and behavior. Imagine, then, the impact that a breach in your brain’s tissue can have. Even minor brain damage can result in depression, anxiety, and anger issues. Major damage can make someone’s emotional state torturous. They can sob or fly into a rage without reason or provocation. They could be manically joyous, which affects their ability to manage the mundane parts of life. Emotional imbalance can also affect relationships. People lose friends or have difficulty making new ones.

Cognitive Dysfunction

The loss of cognitive ability is one of the most devastating effects of a TBI. At its least severe, this loss can make problem-solving more difficult, and people become confused more easily. The ability to solve problems could take much longer. At its most extreme, loss of cognition could make it impossible to learn new things. Problem-solving and decision-making can be diminished, reverting someone to a childlike state.

The Financial Impact of a TBI

With any traumatic injury, treatment can cost a small fortune. This is not a hyperbolic figure of speech. Treatment and recovery can cost over one million dollars in the first year alone. This figure does not represent long-term treatment, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. For some, this treatment lasts a lifetime.

When you need lifelong care, insurance may simply not be enough. You may have no choice but to file a personal lawsuit. In such cases, you could be awarded substantial, continued compensation. Medical treatment could be covered, along with continued care and rehabilitation. You could be covered for lost wages and loss of future wages, and it is possible to have pain and suffering damages compensated.

If someone else’s negligence on the road forces you into a lifelong recovery, call an attorney today. They can help you seek the justice you deserve.

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in a car accident, contact our office today. You will need financial support to endure the challenges ahead, and we may be able to help. Our office number is (817) 591-4222, and you can reach us online.

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