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Traumatic brain injury and car accidents

Traumatic brain injuries present one of the substantial risks of sustaining a car crash. These injuries arise when the brain experiences a traumatic impact; motor vehicle accidents are one of the major causes of TBI nationwide.

While TBI often occurs after a head injury or impact, in the case of a car accident this may not always hold true. Because such a situation often involves a sudden stop while traveling at high speed, the brain can sustain an impact from hitting the interior of the skull. Thus, even those who do not remember hitting their head and have no outer signs of head injury may still suffer from TBI.

Unlike many other types of serious injuries, the existence of TBI may not be obvious to victims or first responders immediately after the crash. Moderate TBI generally begins with a short period of unconsciousness that lasts shorter than 30 minutes. Some people pass out for such a short time they never realize it happened.

TBI symptoms can take as long as several months to show up. In part, this is because brain injuries tend not to develop linearly. The initial impact can result in gradually increasing swelling or in bleeding that spreads through the brain. As more areas of the brain become affected, the patient can experience impairment in various areas of functioning.

Common TBI symptoms include those many people tend to think of as minor, such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, mood swings, forgetfulness and diminished focus. Areas where a sufferer may begin to experience impairment include speech, memory, cognition and movement. If you notice changes in your health following your accident, it is important to seek proper medical attention promptly.

Treatments for TBI currently aim to restore function as much as possible. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to reduce swelling. Treatment plans may include medications to deal with nausea and pain. Various types of therapy may work to increase function in affected areas.


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Downer, Walters & Mitchener, P.A.
701 East Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

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