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Types of Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

brain injury

One of the most severe consequences of a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Of all the body’s organs that are vulnerable to the forces felt during an accident, the brain is perhaps the most susceptible, even with its protective skull.  Because there are several types of brain injuries, it is essential to recognize their symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately following a car accident.

There are many different types of brain injuries to be aware of, including:

  • Concussions: Concussions are among the most common types of mild brain injuries resulting from car accidents. They occur when the brain experiences a sudden jolt or blow, causing it to move within the skull. Symptoms may include headaches, confusion, memory loss, and sensitivity to light or noise. While concussions are generally considered mild, they require prompt medical attention, as repeated concussions can have cumulative and long-term effects on brain health.
  • Edema: Edema occurs when a person’s brain begins to swell, mostly because of trauma. The danger is that the skull cannot accommodate the brain’s swelling, resulting in brain damage.
  • Contusions: Contusions involve bruising or bleeding of the brain tissue and often result from a direct impact to the head during a car accident. The forceful collision of the brain against the skull can lead to contusions, which may vary in severity. Contusions can cause localized damage, affecting specific brain areas and impairing cognitive, sensory, or motor function.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): DAI is a severe form of brain injury that occurs when the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull, causing extensive damage to nerve fibers (axons). Car accidents, particularly high-speed collisions or abrupt deceleration, can lead to DAI. This type of injury often results in widespread brain damage, affecting multiple areas and leading to cognitive deficits, coma, or, in severe cases, permanent disability.
  • Coup-contrecoup injury: Coup-contrecoup injuries involve a double impact on the brain, occurring when the initial force causes the brain to collide with the skull (coup), followed by a rebound effect where the brain strikes the opposite side of the skull (contrecoup). These injuries are common in car accidents with high-velocity impacts. The dual impact can lead to extensive damage, affecting multiple areas of the brain and resulting in cognitive and motor impairments.
  • Penetrating injuries: Penetrating brain injuries occur when an object, such as shattered glass or debris from the car, penetrates the skull and directly damages the brain tissue. These injuries can have severe and immediate consequences, often requiring emergency medical intervention. The extent of the damage depends on the penetrating object’s size, shape, and trajectory.
  • Hematomas: Hematomas involve blood collection outside blood vessels, within the brain, or in the space between the brain and the skull. Car accidents can cause hematomas, which may be epidural, subdural, or intracerebral. These blood clots can exert pressure on the brain, leading to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, seizures, and altered consciousness.
  • Second-impact syndrome: Second-impact syndrome occurs when a victim who had already suffered a TBI suffers another brain injury before the first one has been resolved. This situation could lead to an even more catastrophic and permanent situation.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Accident Victims Suffering From Brain Injuries

If you have suffered a brain injury due to a car accident, you need the best legal guidance on your side.  Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you today.  Call us at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.  Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.