Head injuries are among the most consequential that could result from a car accident. If a head injury affects the brain, a patient could face widespread and life-altering neurological complications. Today’s post will discuss the different types of head injuries, how they’re treated, and how someone injured in an accident someone else caused could pursue compensation for their recovery.
Types of Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries from Car Accidents
Head injuries could fall into three general categories:
- Superficial wounds – cuts or bruises affecting the skin
- Skull fractures – breaks or cracks to the skull, which could affect brain tissue
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – damage to the brain itself, with or without damage to the skull and skin
We can further classify traumatic brain injuries into additional subtypes, such as:
- Concussion – Concussions are not only the most common type of TBI after car accidents but also the most common type of TBI overall. After a sudden, forceful impact to the head, a part of the brain could touch the inner wall of the skull, “stunning” or bruising the area. In mild cases, concussion survivors may have a headache or feel dizzy. Severe concussions, however, could result in amnesia, vision and hearing problems, and even unconsciousness.
- Brain contusions – As with any other bruise, a TBI contusion results from broken blood vessels in the brain’s tissue, causing swelling or bleeding. In “coup” contusions, the bruised area is right under the site of impact. “Contrecoup” contusions affect the opposite side from the impact zone and could result from the recoil immediately after a car accident.
- Coup-contrecoup contusions – A coup-contrecoup contusion consists of two separate bruises. One is located under the impact site, while the other is directly opposite.
- Diffuse axonal injuries – Diffuse axonal injuries rank among the most severe forms of TBI. Axons connecting the brain’s cells with each other tear apart, immediately impacting the patient’s physical and mental faculties. They could result from a head-on or rollover crash, either on their own or as the result of a severe concussion.
Diagnosing and Treating a Traumatic Brain Injury
When seeing any head injury, a doctor will want to rule out the possibility of traumatic brain injury. A neurologist can often identify a traumatic brain injury by observing the patient’s cognition and taking images to confirm their diagnosis. The techniques they could use include:
- Testing eye function – People with TBI often have problems adjusting to light. A doctor could briefly shine an ophthalmoscope light at a patient’s pupils to see if they shrink in a normal way.
- Computer-aided tomography – CT scans are often the first diagnostic procedure for a head injury. They allow a doctor to identify the affected area of the brain and, in some cases, assign a stage to the injury.
- MRI scans – Once a doctor has made an official TBI diagnosis, they may use MRI scans to get more detailed imagery of the brain and map the injury’s effects on the brain’s wiring.
A TBI care team must ensure that the patient’s brain gets sufficient blood flow and keep cerebrospinal fluid pressure at optimum levels. Once the patient is stable, they’ll begin the rehab process. They may see a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, or other professionals to help them regain some function over time.
How an Attorney Can Help
You might have legal options if you received a TBI or other head injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. The team at The Yates Firm regularly works with car accident cases, and it’s our goal to help you recoup the cost of:
- Medical bills
- Lost time at work
- Vehicle and property repairs or alterations
- Pain and suffering
- Impaired quality of life
We understand that your health should always be your top priority. You should not have to worry about your insurance claim or lawsuit while you heal. We’ll work on your behalf, collaborating with experts to fight against negligent parties and keeping the lines of communication open. Our team can:
- Consult medical experts and reconstruction teams to determine the severity of your injury and the cost of your treatment needs
- Determine who was responsible for the accident and how it happened
- Attempt to negotiate a settlement that would compensate you without the need for a trial
- Represent you in court if necessary
Contact a Myrtle Beach Head Injury Lawyer
The Myrtle Beach car accident lawyers of The Yates Firm are ready to answer your questions in a free, no-obligation consultation. Founders Bradley Yates and Monica Wooten Yates each take an approach rooted in their unique experiences and small-town family values. They’ve previously secured more than $15 million in total for their clients. Contact our office at (843) 692-3237 today to speak with a member of our team.