Hurt in an Orange County Car Crash: Should You be Screened for Brain Injury?Each year in America, 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injury accounts for more than 30 percent of injury related death. Each year, about 52,000 people die. Another 275,000 are hospitalized, and about 100,000 are left with a permanent disability that affects their ability to work or function in their daily lives.
The leading cause of brain injury is falls. The second leading cause is car accidents, and car accidents are the leading cause of TBI deaths. Over 17% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle crashes. This works out to be about 289,000 individuals who sustain brain injury in a motor vehicle accident each year.
A person does not have to be in a horrific crash to sustain a traumatic brain injury. He does not have travelling at a high rate of speed. In fact, it is possible to sustain a car crash brain injury without even hitting one’s head.
While you are driving along at 45 miles an hour, your brain is also travelling at 45 miles an hour. When you crash and suddenly stop, your brain keeps going until it slams into your skull. The impact can cause bleeding into the brain. This is a concern because the brain does not have room for the blood and the blood puts pressure on delicate brain tissue. In some cases, the blood can stop the brain from working.
After the impact, your brain (and your body) may slam backwards. This is known as a countercoup injury and can result in injury to multiple parts of the brain.
As the brain bounces back and forth, there may be more bleeding or even microscopic tearing of brain tissue. This can disrupt neurological pathways.
The injury to the brain can cause swelling as the brain tries to heal itself. This swelling puts more pressure on the brain and can lead to more brain damage.
After the brain is injured, there may be no symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms don’t develop until the brain swells hours or even days the accident. Often accident victims seem "just fine" right after at the accident, but get more and more confused until they eventually lapse into a coma. For this reason, all Orange County car crash victims should be cleared by a medical doctor and they should know the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
Victims of brain injury often require extensive hospitalization as well as on-going medical care and therapy. This can be expensive. If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to insurance compensation to cover your medical costs. To find out if you have a personal injury case, contact the Orange County accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie.
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