Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

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By Marcus Fernandez

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, affect how the brain functions. According to the most recently available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs claimed the lives of 69,000 people in 2021, with falls and car accidents being two of the most common causes.

A person who survives a traumatic brain injury may have health issues caused by the injury, interfering with normal brain function. The consequences vary and may be short- or long-term depending on the severity of the injury to the brain. 

The following information explains how a car accident may cause a vehicle’s occupants to suffer a TBI. It also reveals the types of TBIs and the medical and legal implications accident victims may face.

What is a TBI?

A brain injury caused by trauma is a TBI. Sources of trauma that may injure the brain include:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Assaults
  • Work accidents
  • Contact sports

A TBI may be penetrating, which occurs when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain. Examples of penetrating injuries include a bullet fired from a gun or a metal rod that pierces the skull. 

A blow to the head or a sudden, jarring motion that causes the brain to strike against the inside of the skull are examples of non-penetrating or closed brain injuries. A closed brain injury might result when a truck crashes into the rear of a car, causing rapid movement of the heads of the occupants, resulting in the brain striking against the inside of the skull.

Common causes of traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Falls account for up to 50% of hospitalizations related to TBI.
  • Suicide using a firearm is the leading cause of death associated with TBI.
  • Motor vehicle accidents.

Falling objects that strike a person or obstacles or obstructions that a person may strike their head against are other common causes of head injuries.

Symptoms of a TBI

A person injured in a car accident may have a traumatic brain injury without being immediately aware of it because symptoms may not be apparent for hours, days, or even weeks after an accident. The possibility of a delay in the onset of symptoms makes it imperative for occupants of a vehicle involved in a crash to be examined by a physician immediately.

The symptoms associated with trauma to the brain vary depending on the severity of the injury. A mild traumatic brain injury, frequently referred to as a concussion, includes the following:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Disoriented, dazed, or confused
  • Changes in mood
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Sleeping more or less than usual

Some people with mild TBI may briefly lose consciousness, but a person may have a TBI without losing consciousness.

A person with a more severe injury to the brain may have the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness for a day or longer
  • Confusion
  • Impaired awareness of time and space
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Impaired comprehension
  • Memory impairment and amnesia
  • Inability to focus or maintain attention
  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Vision impairment, including limited range and double vision
  • Impaired communication and language function

Someone with a moderate to severe injury to the brain may exhibit changes in their personality, including anxiety, depression, and a lack of motivation. Severe TBI may cause a person to have generalized or partial seizures. 

Don’t wait for symptoms before seeking medical care for TBI

How you feel after a car accident may not be a reliable indicator of whether you sustained an injury to the brain. You need to be seen by a physician or other medical professional to conduct a comprehensive examination looking for signs of an injury to the brain. 

Depending on the severity of the brain injury, treatment may range from resting at home to emergency surgery. Someone with a severe brain injury may require long-term care, medication, and rehabilitation to learn how to live with the limitations caused by the injury.

Contact KFB Law

An injury to the brain can be life-altering and financially devastating. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at KFB Law want you to know that help is available when you sustain injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of another party.

Learn more about your right to recover compensation from the person at fault for causing a car accident by talking to an experienced and compassionate car accident lawyer from KFB Law. Contact us today for a free consultation.