Car accidents: The third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries

Auto accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S, and the second leading cause of TBI deaths.

Whether a minor fender bender or a catastrophic collision, many California residents have been involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. Thousands of people may have acquired a serious or catastrophic injury, such as a brain injury, as a result of the accident. Car accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are also the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths. As more people are affected by brain trauma, medical professionals are finding better ways of detecting, diagnosing and treating these injuries.

DEFINING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

The forceful impact from a car collision may cause the occupants of a vehicle to hit their heads against the dashboard or window of the car. When this occurs, the soft tissue of the brain is bounced around within the skull and may become damaged. Brain injuries can also occur when flying objects strike a person's head, and in some cases, may penetrate the skull and damage the brain. The exact area where the brain was injured and the severity of the injury is unique to each injured victim. This causes people to exhibit different signs and symptoms, depending on their individualistic physiological response.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Approximately 138 people die every day from traumatic brain injuries. Many others are forced to live with the debilitating symptoms of brain injury for the rest of their lives. People who suffer from mild TBI may experience confusion, dizziness, trouble concentrating, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision and fatigue. They may even have slight mood changes. Moderate to severe cases of TBI can cause nausea, vomiting, sensory deficiencies, tingling in the arms and legs, muscle weakness, seizures, severe headaches and loss of coordination.

DETECTING AND TREATING TBI

Moderate to severe cases of TBI are easier for physicians to diagnose as they often show up on CT scans and MRIs. Doctors will also ask the patient for a personal assessment of symptoms. Mild cases of TBI may be harder to detect, however, because they may not appear on traditional diagnostic scans. A study published in Neurology found that even mild TBI can cause serious cognitive disabilities in people affected by brain trauma. They also found that diffusion tensor imaging can help identify spots of mild brain trauma.

Once the injury is found, medical professionals can customize a treatment plan that will best benefit the patient. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, this may include occupational, physical and speech therapy. Psychological counseling and social support may also be helpful in treating brain injuries acquired from auto accidents.

PARTNERING WITH AN ATTORNEY

People who have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after having been involved in a car accident may want to seek legal counsel from an established attorney. A lawyer may help walk you through the legal process and receive the compensation you need and deserve for your case.

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