People can suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in many different circumstances. They could fall while cleaning their gutters or get hurt playing football in college. However, a large number of TBIs are the results of motor vehicle collisions.
There is a strong association between brain injury and car crashes for good reason. After all, motor vehicles weigh thousands of pounds and can cause catastrophic damage to pedestrians and the occupants of other vehicles, especially when they travel at high speeds.
One of the reasons people associate brain injuries with car crashes is that there are multiple ways that car crashes can cause brain injuries. How do car crashes cause brain injuries?
Blunt force trauma
One of the reasons that airbags exist is the risk of brain injury in a car crash. If it inflates in time, an airbag could stop someone from hitting their head on the steering wheel, the dashboard or the window. That blunt force trauma of striking your head on something can easily cause a traumatic brain injury that leaves you with debilitating, potentially lifelong symptoms. Those struck by a vehicle or thrown from a vehicle in a crash could also suffer blunt-force trauma that causes a severe brain injury.
Glass and other small, sharp objects may fly through the air during a car crash, cutting into someone’s body. If sharp objects penetrate your head and skull, even if they don’t cause severe bleeding or unconsciousness, they can cause massive injury to your brain either through direct damage or by causing swelling. These injuries may require surgery to remove the objects and alleviate the swelling that they caused.
In the rare event that there is an explosion after a car crash, the percussive force caused by that explosion could cause serious brain injuries in anyone nearby at the time. You certainly do not need to be in the vehicle that explodes for it to potentially damage your brain.
Violent vehicle motions
It is possible for you to avoid physically hitting things or cutting yourself and still suffer a traumatic injury to your brain in a car crash. The more violent the motions of the vehicle and the higher the speed at the time of the wreck, the more likely that the abrupt and violent motions of the vehicle could shake your brain around inside your skull and cause a serious injury.
Even if you don’t seem to have serious symptoms at the scene of the crash, seeking a medical evaluation could significantly improve your prognosis. Not all serious injuries are immediately apparent following an accident. Learning about the worst injuries that occur after a car crash can help you get the support and insurance compensation you need.