If you watch football games, you have no doubt seen players suffer head injuries. It happens in other sports, as well. However, car crashes account for thousands of traumatic brain injury cases every year.
There are two forms of traumatic brain injury. An open TBI happens when a foreign object pierces the skull and enters the brain. A blow to the head can cause a closed traumatic brain injury, the most common form.
How TBI happens in a car crash
Even a minor accident like a low-speed rear-end collision can leave the victim with a mild brain trauma. In fact, this kind of injury can lead to long-term cognitive and memory issues. A rear-end collision causes the head to snap forward and backward. That impact can cause the brain to move and strike the inside of the skull. The victim could also hit his or her head on the steering wheel or windshield and suffer a closed TBI.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not always evident at the time of a crash; they could appear hours or days later. Warning signs to look for include headache or nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, balance problems and a feeling of confusion. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light or noise, mood swings, depression and a change in sleep pattern.
Seeking medical help
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle crashes account for about 286,000 TBIs annually, far more than the number of head injuries attributed to sports.
Victims of accidents, including low-speed collisions, should seek medical attention promptly. Not only is this important for the patient’s health, but a medical report that ties any injuries directly to the car crash will provide vital evidence when the time comes to seek full and fair insurance compensation.