According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ordinary falls and vehicle crashes are the most common causes of brain injuries requiring hospitalization.
Even a low speed rear-end collision can result in brain damage at any level that could leave you with lifelong health issues.
The reaction to impact
The jarring impact that occurs during a car crash can cause your brain, or even parts of your brain, to connect with the inside of your skull. This can cause bruising and even worse, stretching or tearing of the nerve tissue. If the brain is seriously damaged, the injured brain cells may no longer have the ability to communicate with other cells. Some injuries can cause inflammation, the production of harmful free radicals and a reduction in the delivery of nutrients and oxygen the brain needs to recover.
Two kinds of TBI
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, has two forms: open and closed. In the open form, a foreign object pierces the skull and becomes lodged in the brain. Fortunately, the closed form is much more common and results from a blow or bump to the head. For example, if you are the victim of a rear-end collision, the sudden impact may cause you to hit your head on the steering wheel or windshield.
The effects of a concussion
A concussion is a mild form of TBI. Symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, balance problems and a sensitivity to noise or light. Although symptoms often disappear within a few weeks, some people experience lasting effects, such as concentration or memory issues. Repeated concussions can cause a decline in cognitive function.
A look at your rights
A brain injury is not always apparent at the time of an accident, but it can have lasting effects. Remember that if you are the victim of a vehicle crash, even a minor rear-end collision, you should seek prompt medical attention. You have the right to expect compensation to cover your current and future medical expenses and more.