Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) After a Car Accident


The sudden impact and screeching tires signify the moment that alters everything. Car accidents disrupt daily lives and devastate families, leaving victims coping with consequences for years. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are concerning due to their concealed repercussions, extending over long periods. A TBI after a car accident is more prevalent than expected, leading to various symptoms and difficulties. Whether you’ve experienced this firsthand, are a caregiver, or seek to comprehend this issue, the information provided here could be beneficial.

What is a TBI?


A traumatic brain injury is defined as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury. Notably, a TBI can temporarily or permanently impair a person’s cognitive function.


The Mechanics of TBI in a Car Accident


A TBI occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain, and auto accidents are a prime catalyst for the occurrence of such injuries. Understanding the mechanical forces involved is critical to appreciating the full extent of a car crash’s impact on the brain.

  • Acceleration and Deceleration Forces: When a vehicle suddenly speeds up or comes to a stop, the brain, a soft organ, can be jolted within the skull, causing widespread damage.
  • Penetrating Injuries: These occur when a foreign object, such as shattered glass or metal fragments, pierces the skull and brain tissue, causing local trauma and potentially catastrophic injury.

Statistics on TBIs After a Car Accident


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents account for a significant portion of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. Shockingly, they are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths among children and young adults. Moreover, in 2019 alone, over 4.4 million reported car accidents resulted in non-fatal injuries. In most car crashes, the brain is vulnerable to several injury mechanisms. Impact on the steering wheel or dashboard, whiplash, ejection from the vehicle, side-impact collisions, rollovers, airbag deployment, and flying debris can all cause varying degrees of traumatic brain injury.


Prevention and Risk Reduction


While not always avoidable, there are measures one can take to reduce the risk of TBIs in car accidents.

  • Wearing Seat Belts: Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to prevent head injuries in car crashes.
  • Enforcing Child Safety Measures: Properly installed car seats and seat belts designed for children’s size and weight can save young lives and reduce the risk of head trauma.

What to Do for TBI After a Car Accident


Immediate medical attention is the first step after experiencing a TBI, as this type of injury can be life-threatening and requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Here’s a closer look at what to do in the critical moments following a car accident if you suspect a TBI:

1. Prioritize Safety


The first crucial step after a car accident is ensuring everyone’s safety. Call 911 or local emergency numbers for medical help. While waiting for assistance, preserve the accident scene. Avoid moving any objects or vehicles and note details like the time of the accident and injuries. Lastly, file a police report to create an official record of the accident.


2. Seeking Medical Assistance for TBI


Prompt medical attention is crucial for anyone who suspects they may have sustained a TBI in a car accident. Seeking immediate help can not only improve your prognosis but also strengthen any future legal claims.

  • Emergency Room Evaluation: The medical personnel at the ER may perform a series of tests, including imaging scans and neurological assessments, to diagnose the TBI and determine its severity.
  • Follow-Up Care: Depending on the diagnosis, you may require follow-up care, including physical therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, and psychological counseling to address the multifaceted nature of TBI recovery.
  • Documentation: It’s essential to document all injuries and the diagnosis of a TBI. Keep a copy of your medical records, and make sure they include everything from initial evaluations to recommended treatment plans.

3. Seek Legal Counsel


Involving a car accident attorney is a prudent step. They can review the details of your case, offer guidance on the legal process, and begin building your case for potential compensation, especially if another party’s negligence caused the accident.

Symptoms of a TBI After a Car Accident


Symptoms of a TBI can vary widely, from mild to severe. Here are common signs seen in car accident victims:

Mild TBI Symptoms


  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to minutes.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Memory or concentration problems.
  • Dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Sensory sensitivity to light or sound.

Moderate to Severe TBI Symptoms


  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours.
  • Profound confusion.
  • Physical and/or mental impairments.
  • Behavioral changes such as agitation or combativeness.
  • Slurred speech or enlargement of the pupil.
  • Clear fluid draining from the nose or ears.

Long-term Effects of a Mild TBI


It’s important to remember that even mild TBIs can have long-term effects. These may include changes in cognitive function, behavioral changes, and sensory issues. Recovery might be swifter, but it should also be considered ongoing. This could potentially require a longer healing period than initially anticipated.

What to Expect If Diagnosed With a TBI After a Car Accident


If you are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury following a car accident, the road to recovery can be complex and potentially prolonged. Here are factors to anticipate:


The Recovery Process


The recovery process is unique to each individual; it depends on the injury’s severity, treatment effectiveness, and the patient’s overall health. For most patients, the focus is on physical and cognitive rest to allow the brain time to heal. Graduated return to activities, medication, and physical, occupational, and speech therapies may be recommended.


The Cost of TBI After a Car Accident


The financial implications of a TBI after a car accident can be substantial; this often includes medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of ongoing care. Seeking compensation for these expenses—especially if the accident was due to another’s negligence—can be critical.

Emotional and Psychological Impact


TBI can lead to emotional and psychological effects like depression and anxiety. Changes in personality and, in some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also happen. Coping and support are crucial for recovery for patients and families.


Lifestyle Adjustments


Recovering from a TBI may also require lifestyle adjustments. For example, implementing safety measures at home or making changes in daily routines can help reduce the risk of further injury and aid in the recovery process.


Long-Term Management


In some cases, recovery from a TBI may be a lifelong journey. Therefore, it is important to continue working closely with healthcare professionals and following recommended treatment plans to manage ongoing symptoms or challenges.


Brain Injury Treatment

The Legal Aspect of TBI


Navigating the legal system after a TBI can be daunting. It’s essential to secure competent legal representation, often via a local personal injury attorney, who understands the intricacies of TBIs.

  • Proving Negligence:  Negligence is the at-fault parties’s failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. Your auto accident lawyer will assist in proving negligence by gathering evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, and expert testimony, to establish the responsible party’s liability.
  • Compensation:  The right legal support can help secure compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, which is critical to help with the recovery process.


Protecting Your Recovery: The Role of Legal Representation


Engaging a Toledo car accident attorney, especially one with extensive experience in car accident cases involving TBIs, can provide a vital layer of support after a brain injury.

Investigating the Accident


An auto accident attorney can conduct a thorough independent investigation to establish liability by interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and consulting experts to reconstruct the accident circumstances.

Documenting Medical Evidence


Legal representation can also assist by documenting the full extent of your injuries through medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence, thereby supporting your compensation claim.

Pursuing Fair Compensation


By pursuing a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Seeking fair compensation facilitates your recovery and ensures financial stability.


Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Car Accident Lawyers


If you or someone you know has been in a car accident with concerns about traumatic brain injuries, it is crucial to prioritize seeking immediate medical attention and legal advice. Additionally, remember that recovery may be long, but with the right support and resources, it’s manageable. Furthermore, when searching for “car accident attorneys near me”, ensure they have extensive experience in personal injury law, especially TBI cases. At Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, our car accident lawyers have a successful track record in securing compensation for TBI victims. Please contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can assist with your TBI case after a car accident.

Call us at 419-843-6663 to get started, or use our easy online contact form today.

Get peace of mind with a free consultation from an experienced injury lawyer at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault. Our consultations guide you on legal options, evaluate cases, and discuss potential compensation. Rest assured, accident victims receive legal help at no cost. Furthermore, we handle Personal Injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault have extensive experience in representing clients involved in auto accidents.