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What's the medical definition of a brain injury?

Brain injuries are common following car accidents, which involve strong centripetal forces. When a vehicle gets into a collision, any bodies inside the vehicle will continue to move forward at the same rate of speed until something inside the car stops them. That could be a seat belt, the roof of the car or the dashboard. The body could get ejected from the vehicle out one of the windows. This action of stopping the body quickly -- no matter how it stops -- can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Even if a seat belt or seat back stops you from hitting any other area of the car with your head, your brain could get jarred and jostled inside the skull as a result of the gravitational forces. This, in turn, can cause tearing, bruising, internal bleeding and other damage within the skull -- in other words, TBI.

According to NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), a TBI is a kind of acquired brain injury caused by sudden brain trauma. Traumatic brain injuries happen when the head hits or strikes something violently -- or when something strikes the skull or pierces the head and goes into the brain. TBI can range in severity depending on how badly the brain gets hurt.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, headache, tired eyes, blurred vision fatigue, bad tastes and confusion are some of the more common symptoms of TBI. Other symptoms may also include lethargy, ringing ears, strange sleeping patterns, mood changes, memory problems, thinking issues and concentration problems.

Sometimes, it's difficult for doctors to detect brain injuries immediately after a crash. However, symptoms could develop at a later time. If you're showing the symptoms of TBI following a serious accident, it's important to seek medical help immediately. You may also want to investigate whether you have the ability to pursue financial restitution from the party or parties at fault for your TBI.

Source: NINDS, "Definition," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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