Accident victims run the risk of getting a serious injury as a result of the impact of the collision. Traumatic brain damage is just one type of injury, affecting a significant number of people in California and throughout the United States each year. In fact, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries were involved in more than 2.5 million hospitalizations, deaths and emergency room visits over the course of a year. These numbers are thought to be much higher, as many people do not know they have a brain injury and do not seek medical attention.
What are traumatic brain injuries?
A sudden jolt or impact to a vehicle during a car accident can cause a person’s head to whip suddenly out of place or even hit the window or steering wheel. During the hit, the soft brain tissue may hit against the hard skull bone. This may result in inflammation, bruising and bleeding.
While the effects of a brain injury may be instantly noticeable to some, others may not recognize the signs of brain trauma until several days or weeks later.
What are potential consequences?
The effects of brain injuries differ depending on what area of the brain is affected and how severe the injury is, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Some potential consequences may involve the following:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble hearing, seeing or communicating with others
- Difficulty remembering events, planning or organizing
- Tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness or spasms
- Mood disorders, including depression or anxiety
Traumatic brain injuries may lead to changes in behavior, personality and sleeping patterns. It may even cause paralysis.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention following a car accident, as healthcare professionals may help minimize the damage done to essential nervous system functions.