When you think of an accident, you may envision physical injuries—but there is more to it. Most people don’t realize that an accident can cause a range of brain injuries with serious and lasting consequences.
The types of brain injuries sustained can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The severity of the injury depends on the type and amount of force involved in the accident. Each type of brain injury has its particular symptoms and may require specific treatments for recovery.
In this article, we will look at the different kinds of brain injuries caused by accidents, what symptoms to look out for, and how those injuries can be treated.
Our Baton Rouge car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve if you suffered a brain injury in a crash with a careless driver. Call today for a free consultation.
One of the most dangerous types of brain injuries is known as brain penetration, and it’s caused when something—generally a foreign object, such as a piece of glass or a bullet—penetrates the skull and enters the brain. In this case, the damage is usually confined to one large brain area and can cause serious physical, cognitive, and emotional impairment.
You may experience difficulty speaking, walking, or seeing. In some cases, you may even be unable to move anymore. Brain penetration can also cause memory loss, confusion, personality changes, and seizures.
When it comes to traumatic brain injuries caused by accidents, coup-contrecoup is one of the most common. This type of head trauma happens when the brain shifts and hits the opposite side of the skull due to an external force, like a rapid deceleration or acceleration.
The shock wave that passes through your brain in this type of trauma causes damage to both the initial blow site (coup) and the opposite side (contrecoup).
The effects of these types of brain injuries can range from mild symptoms like headaches and dizziness to more serious cognitive impairments. In some cases, traumatic brain injury can cause a loss or disruption in the functioning of certain areas of the brain.
If a coup-contrecoup accident has occurred, no matter how mild or severe you believe it to have been, it is important that you seek medical attention for a proper evaluation as soon as possible.
Acquired Brain Injuries
The third type of brain injury caused by accidents is Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). A direct blow to the head does not cause this type of injury but instead occurs due to a lack of oxygen and/or excessive bleeding in the brain. A common example of an acquired brain injury results from a stroke.
Accidents can also cause ABI, but these are usually more serious and long-lasting than traumatic injuries. ABIs can result from oxygen deprivation caused by near-drowning, electric shock, gas inhalation, toxic chemicals or drugs, infections such as meningitis, or an internal brain bleed due to a car accident.
The symptoms of an ABI vary depending on the severity and location of the injury, but they can include the following:
- Loss or decrease in motor abilities
- Confusion and disorientation
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking and writing
- Full or partial paralysis
- Loss of vision and/or hearing
If you have experienced any of these symptoms following an accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. An ABI left untreated can have long-term consequences on your physical health as well as your cognitive wellness.
Skull fractures are often associated with brain injuries caused by accidents. A skull fracture is a break in the cranial bone, which is the bone that forms your head. While it’s possible to have a skull fracture with no brain injury, it’s common for there to be some brain trauma when someone suffers a fracture.
When it comes to skull fractures can generally be divided into two types.
- Simple fractures – these are fractures where the bone is still in contact with itself, so it doesn’t need surgery and can be treated conservatively; and
- Compound fractures – where the broken pieces of bone don’t line up and can even penetrate the membrane that separates the brain from the rest of your head. These fractures must be treated surgically, requiring reducing and securing the fragment together to heal properly.
You also need to consider whether there are any associated neurological deficits, meaning any kind of damage or function disruption to other parts of your body such as limbs or internal organs due to damage suffered in the accident. Without proper identification and treatment, this type of injury could prove fatal if left unchecked or unnoticed.
A blow to the head often causes brain contusions. This type of brain injury causes bruising of the brain tissue, usually from impacting a hard surface at high speed. Unfortunately, this type of injury can cause major trauma to the brain and is often accompanied by swelling in the brain, which can be very dangerous for a person.
Generally, brain contusions are classified into two categories:
- Coup contusion – a localized injury that occurs directly below the point of impact.
- Contra coup contusion – an injury that occurs on the side opposite of where the head was impacted.
Symptoms of a brain contusion may include:
- Severe headache
- Loss of memory
- Loss of consciousness
- Seizures or convulsions
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms after an accident or fall seek medical attention immediately. Being aware and prepared for potential injuries can help prevent further complications and even death in serious cases.
If you find yourself in an accident, you may suffer a concussion is the most common type of brain injury. This injury happens when a hit to the head causes your brain to be thrown around inside your skull – like it’s being shaken inside a jar.
Common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Memory issues or confusion
- Changes in vision/hearing/taste/smell/touch
It’s important to get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible if you think you have a concussion and follow their advice on the best course of action for recovery. Remember that healing can take days, weeks, or even months.
The brain may experience a disruption in blood flow or swell due to an accident, known as brain edema. It happens when your brain swells due to excess fluid. It is the most common type of secondary brain injury that results from trauma or injury.
The difficulty of edema is that it has few physical symptoms, so it can be easy to overlook. It can cause headaches, dizziness, visual impairment, and personality changes — but you could miss them if you don’t actively look for these symptoms.
Call Our Louisiana Injury Lawyers for Help Today!
Brain injuries can cause lifelong disability, and many patients require expensive medical treatment. Our Louisiana injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve if you suffered a brain injury because of someone’s negligence. Call today for a free consultation.