TBI after a Car Accident: What You Should Know

One of the most prevalent injuries that can come from a car crash is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, TBIs are responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and even deaths each year here in the US. And unfortunately, this condition isn’t always readily apparent or diagnosed. Its symptoms can be vague and varied – and sometimes, missed.

In our post today, we’ll discuss the connection between car crashes and TBIs. Since we’re personal injury attorneys, we’ll also share our thoughts on the legal aspects of a TBI. Of course, if you need legal assistance – stop reading this post and call us now for help.

Traumatic Brain Injury Following Car Crash Statistics

Car crashes are responsible for thousands of brain injuries every year. Consider some of these sobering statistics:

  • Car crashes are the third leading cause of TBI (behind suicide and falls)
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of TBI requiring hospitalization
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBIs in children birth – 17
  • Unintentional motor vehicle crashes are responsible for 17% of all TBI-related deaths
  • TBIs from car crashes disproportionately impact males

This data comes from the CDC’s TBI Surveillance Report as well as the CDC’s report to Congress: Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States.

How Car Crashes Cause TBI

As you might imagine, a victim could get a brain injury when his or head strikes a hard object during a crash. For instance, a windshield, window, or steering wheel. But there are other, less apparent ways you can end up with a brain injury in a car crash.

A brain injury can happen when the body is suddenly jolted. This can cause the brain to jostle inside the skull. For example, a rear-end collision could trigger this type of whiplash motion. In other words, a TBI could be caused without a direct blow to the head making it easy to go unnoticed.

A brain injury could also result as a secondary effect from an injury elsewhere on the body. If a major body organ is seriously hurt in a crash, oxygen flow to the brain could be impacted.

TBI Symptoms to Watch For

In fact, a TBI is not always an obvious injury following a motor vehicle accident. Symptoms may manifest days or even weeks later or be explained away as symptoms of other injuries.

Some signs to watch for that could indicate a brain injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Mood swings or outbursts
  • Depression
  • Slurred speech

Be warned, these can be signs of a brain injury requiring medical attention. Don’t delay in getting seen. Prompt treatment is important both for the best recovery as well as to backup an injury claim, should you choose to file one.

The Impacts of a TBI are Costly & Life Changing

A study published by Oxford University Press estimates that the lifetime economic cost of TBI is $75.6 billion – yes, billion. When a person suffers from a TBI, it impacts their family and community as well.

The costs of a serious brain injury are far-reaching:

  • Lost wages
  • Potential inability to return to work, or the same line of work
  • Medical costs – acute and long-term care
  • Medication costs
  • Home modifications or mobility equipment

In addition to the expenses involved, victim’s family dynamics are forever changed. A victim may not be able to provide the same support and care to their children or spouse. Friends may grieve at not being able to share once-enjoyed favorite activities together. On top of this, the prognosis of a brain injury is varied. Some TBI sufferers will improve in a few weeks or months, while others may further decline and continue to face ongoing health challenges. This poses both emotional and financial uncertainty.

TBI and Car Accident Settlements

If you’ve suffered a brain injury in a car crash caused by someone else, you might be wondering what kind of settlement you can expect to receive. And if this was your situation? We agree – you should receive compensation! As we’ve covered already, brain injuries can impact your entire life as well as your pocketbook.

Here’s what you should know: settlements for TBIs can vary wildly. We’ve seen some settle for a few thousand, while others can run into the millions. Some of the factors that can impact your compensation could include:

  • The severity of your injury. Were you better after a few days of rest, or were you unable to return to your job?
  • Defendant. What type of insurance policy dud they cover? Was there more than one defendant?
  • Your life’s circumstances. For instance, are you young and the primary breadwinner in your family? Did another family member have to leave their job to become your caretaker?
  • Prior medical history. Were you active and healthy prior to the accident?
  • Costs associated with your injury. Did you require extensive hospitalization or treatment? Did you have to make modifications to your home as a result of your injury or purchase mobility equipment?

Finally, a key factor which doesn’t often get discussed is the quality of your attorney. If you have faced substantial upheaval to your life because of your TBI, we can’t stress enough: hire an experienced attorney who knows how to get maximum compensation.

Working with a Car Accident Lawyer

We highly recommend you call us anytime you or a loved one suffers a TBI as a result of a car crash where the other driver was at fault. Insurance companies will try to dismiss your claim or get you to settle before you understand the true value of your case.

It’s always free to speak with one of our attorneys and we’ll only charge a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. Since there’s no risk to you, and all conversations are strictly confidential, why not reach out today? We’d be happy to see if we can help.

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