Brain injuries caused by car accidents can range from minor to debilitating, life threatening, and even fatal. They can leave you and your family with significant challenges and obstacles, turning your life upside down. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of brain injuries that can be caused by a car accident and what you should do if you or a loved one sustained a brain injury from a car accident that may have been caused by the negligence or carelessness of another driver.
This is likely the most common brain injury that can result in a car crash. Both minor and severe car crashes can result in concussions. Concussions are caused by sudden blows to the head or abrupt changes in movement. Both of these occurrences happen in a motor vehicle collision. They may or may not result in a loss of consciousness. Concussions may cause mild changes in thinking and behavior that resolve over days, months, and in rare cases, years.
Contusions are a bruise on the brain, where one of the brain’s blood vessels has ruptured and caused bleeding. In minor cases, a brain bleed will often stop on its own. However, it can prove to be much more dangerous than a concussion. Large contusions may need surgical treatment, while contusions that go unnoticed and untreated may result in death.
A diffuse axonal brain injury is also caused by blows to the head or abrupt changes in movement. However, it is significantly more serious than either of the two previous types of traumatic brain injuries. With a diffuse axonal injury, structures in the brain actually tear, causing damage to that area of the brain. Also, when the tissues tear, brain chemicals are released. This further causes injury and affects the entire brain.
Penetrating Brain Injury
Perhaps the most severe traumatic brain injury is when debris from a car accident penetrates the head, skull, and brain. This is always surgically treated and in many cases, there is lasting damage that cannot be repaired. If too much brain matter has been damaged, the victim may suffer severe and permanent disability or death.