The human brain is incredibly powerful, but it is also relatively delicate. The skull helps to protect the brain from trauma but can also lead to worsening injury in some cases. Those involved in motor vehicle collisions sometimes develop traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
TBIs range in severity from mild to life-threatening. They can also inspire symptoms including cognitive challenges, changes in personality and even motor function issues. There are actually several different ways that an individual could potentially hurt their brain during a car crash. Anyone who has experienced one of the situations below could require a medical evaluation to diagnose or rule out the possibility of a brain injury.
Blunt force trauma
When people think of brain injuries, they typically picture someone who hit their head on something. Some people strike their heads on part of the vehicle, including windows or steering wheels. Others who get thrown from the vehicle could suffer blunt force trauma when they hit the ground or other objects. Blunt force trauma to the head can cause swelling or bleeding of the brain that can progress into a full-blown TBI.
Violent shaking and rocking
The skull is very durable to help protect the brain, but it can also cause injury because of how rigid it is. If someone moves in a violent and aggressive manner, possibly because a vehicle rolls or flips, the momentum they experience during the crash could cause injury to their brain. The swelling that results could slowly progress over time, causing worsening symptoms.
Pieces of windshield glass and other debris often fly at high speeds during a collision. If shrapnel penetrates the head, it could potentially cut through the skull and cause damage to the brain.
Penetrating injuries often require surgery to remove the foreign objects that could cause not just trauma to the brain but also infection.
The more violent a crash is, the more likely it is to create lasting medical issues for the people involved. Anyone who experiences one of the three events above or who loses consciousness during a crash might benefit from a medical evaluation to determine whether the incident may have injured their brain. Obtaining a timely diagnosis can help people get the best treatment and may strengthen their claim for compensation later.