A car accident occurs every minute of every day. And brain injuries are one of the most common aftermaths of these accidents. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you need immediate medical checkup to rule out any injuries to your brain.
More importantly, it’s critical that you determine the type and severity of the damage, if brain injury is detected. This will help your doctor swiftly prescribe the right course of treatment as well as help your attorneys in demanding a fair compensation for damages. The brain injuries are broadly classified into five categories;
A concussion is damage to the brain resulting from a direct blow to the head. It’s especially common in whiplash accidents. It can occur in open or closed head injuries. The most important thing to note is that patients rarely show symptoms and even if symptoms are present, they may not be severe. This makes it very important to hire a brain injury lawyer so detailed scans can be done to establish severity of damage. If scans aren’t done, it may appear like you didn’t suffer a brain injury.
A contusion is also an injury to the brain caused by a direct blow to the head. In car accidents, it can occur if the driver hits his or her head on the steering wheel or against the window. The main difference between contusions and concussions is that in concussions, internal bleeding is very rare while with contusions, blooding is always present and can be severe. While it’s not usually the first option on the list, surgery is sometimes required to treat a contusion.
Coup-contrecoups are essentially contusions, the only difference being that here, the impact causes damage at both ends of the brain. For instance, if the original impact was situated at the front of the head, a similar impact would be detected at the exact opposite location at the back of the head. This normally occurs when the impact is large enough to cause damage at the site of impact as well as to move the brain at the opposite end of the head.
- Diffuse axonal
Diffuse axonal injuries are mostly caused by shaking or a strong rotation of the head. Injury occurs because a sudden movement of the head often leaves the brain lagging behind. When the brain lags behind, the muscles attaching the brain to the skull can be torn. Often, extensive tearing of nerve tissue will be detected throughout the brain, potentially resulting in small masses of brain tissue being released which can cause additional injury.
- Penetration injuries
Finally, a penetration injury is where a foreign object forces its way into the brain. Of brain injuries, this is the deadiest. Fatality rates are as high as 90%. The good news is that penetration injuries aren’t as common in car accidents as they are in violent acts of crime such as shootings and stabbings.
If you’re injured in a car accident, make sure that you get immediate medical attention and necessary scans to rule out brain injury. Even if there are no visible symptoms, it’s in your best interest to get the scans anyway for peace of mind.