Traffic accidents could lead to traumatic brain injuries

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, which can have lasting effects on a person’s life.

Whether people are involved in a simple fender bender or a tragic collision, they may walk away from the accident with serious injuries that could affect them for years to come. Approximately 1.7 million people receive traumatic brain injuries every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Automobile accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain damage, and the second leading cause of deaths that involve TBI in Alaska and across the country.

Traumatic brain injuries explained

The impact of a collision may cause the head to quickly snap back and forth and hit against the steering wheel, side window or dashboard of the car. This force can cause the delicate brain tissue to bounce around inside the bony skull, causing the brain to bleed and bruise. In some cases, the skull may become fractured or flying objects can penetrate the skull and pierce the brain. Over the next few days, the brain may continue to swell and bleed. As this happens, pressure can build up in the skull cavity, which can cause damage to other areas of the brain as well.

Symptoms of brain injuries

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will vary depending on the severity and location of the damage. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, these signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • Headaches, dizziness and confusion
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Tingling or numbing of the extremities
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Decreased ability to hear, see or feel

People suffering from a brain injury may have trouble going back to work, socializing or performing daily tasks that they were once able to do before the injury occurred.

Diagnosis and treatment

While severe brain injuries may be easy to diagnose on traditional screening tests, such as CT scans and MRIs, mild to moderate injuries are often harder to detect. This is especially true when the damage lies deep within the brain tissue. According to the research published in Neurology, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging can point out areas of mild brain damage that traditional tests may have missed. An earlier diagnosis can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from a brain injury, as they are able to receive treatment earlier and have a better outlook for recovery.

Although there is no way to reverse the effects of brain damage, victims may show improvement by undergoing various forms of therapy, including occupational, speech and physical therapy.

Getting your life back on track

If you were involved in a car accident and received brain damage as a result of the incident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Not only can this compensation help to cover your medical expenses and lost wages from time taken off work, but it can also help your emotional trauma and decreased quality of life. An attorney in Alaska may be helpful in answering any questions you might have regarding your accident.