If you are a football fan, you have no doubt seen a player leave the game with a concussion, and you may think that brain injuries most often occur to athletes.

However, vehicle crashes and falls are the two most common causes of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. The traffic accident need not even be a major crash, just a rear-end collision.

How it happens

The sudden impact of a rear-end collision will cause your head to snap back and forth. Depending on the force of the crash, your head may even hit the steering wheel or windshield. At the very least, you will experience the neck injury known as whiplash. However, you may also have a concussion, which is the most common form of TBI.

The silent epidemic

TBI is often called “the silent epidemic” because people do not generally associate it with a concussion. There are two forms of traumatic brain injury: open, which is when a foreign object penetrates the skull and lodges in the brain; and closed, the most common form, which occurs because of a blow to the head.

Walking away

The symptoms of TBI, including signs of concussion, do not always appear following a vehicle crash, so you may walk away feeling a bit shaky, but otherwise okay. Red flags may begin turning up hours or even days later. You may experience headaches, dizziness, confusion, blurry vision or sensitivity to light, among other symptoms.

Seeing a doctor

You may not play a contact sport like football or have ever thought that you would experience any form of TBI. However, if you are the victim of a car crash, the possibility of a concussion or more serious brain injury is among the reasons that you should seek medical care promptly. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial. Also, the doctor will write a medical report linking your condition directly to the collision. If a negligent driver is responsible for your injury, you are entitled to financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more. While you focus on your recovery, your attorney will use the medical report to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf.