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What are traumatic brain injuries in a motor vehicle accident?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a medical condition that can seriously harm the brain and mental function. Typically, a TBI is caused by a bump, blow, strike, jolt or penetration to the head, which many drivers and passengers suffer from when involved in a car accident.

Survivors often suffer from some kind of permanent disability after a TBI. Many TBIs can be fatal; statistically speaking, there are nearly two hundred TBIs a day that leads to death. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of TBIs.

TBIs are categorized into three types: mild, moderate and severe. Here’s more you should know:

Concussions are “mild” TBIs 

A blow or hit to the head usually leads to a concussion, which may be considered a (relatively) mild TBI. In a major or minor car accident, the victim may hit their head. For example, this could be the result of the driver hitting their head on the steering wheel.

This causes the brain to rattle and hit the inner walls of the skull. The brain may then suffer injuries and release chemicals that cause the victim to suffer from nausea, confusion or memory loss and may even go unconscious. 

Moderate or severe TBIs are usually more obvious

Moderate and severe TBIs often come when drivers and passengers involved in a wreck hit their heads on the steering wheel or dashboard — but they can also come from penetration wounds if they’re struck by flying debris.

In some cases, the brain may bruise after suffering a head injury. When the brain swells, it can put pressure on the brain, causing immense pain for the victim. As a result, the brain may suffer tissue or blood cell damage — and those damaged brain cells cannot renew themselves or heal. The victim could develop personality issues, memory loss or paralysis from brain bleeding.

Any TBI, whether it’s a concussion or something worse, has the potential for lifelong consequences. Victims of car accidents have to be aware of their legal rights and the projections for their future recovery so that they can pursue fair compensation for their losses.