Car accidents can result in serious head injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, a serious form of head injury, can often result from car accidents.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in the nation. In the United States, 2.3 million people were injured in car accidents during 2013 alone. Of the 285,477 car accidents that occurred in Illinois during the same time, just over 61,000 (or 21.4 percent) involved an injury of some sort.

When an accident occurs, people that suffer from less catastrophic injuries can heal in a few days, weeks or months. The less fortunate, however, suffer potentially life-changing injuries. A particular type of catastrophic injury that can occur during a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs after falls.

How does a TBI occur?

In car accidents, a TBI typically occurs when the head makes contact with the steering wheel, dashboard or window during the collision. The force of the impact causes the brain to hit the skull, which, depending on the area of the brain involved and the strength of the impact, can potentially cause serious injuries.

Depending on the seriousness of the injury, TBI victims can suffer from a multitude of symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. The symptoms can present immediately or several weeks after the injury. Minor cases of TBI often present as confusion, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision or inability to concentrate. More serious forms of TBI can cause sufferers to experience seizures, nausea, memory problems, and loss of sensation, coordination and cognitive functions.

What are the chances of recovery?

For the 1.7 million people that suffer TBIs each year, the seriousness of the injury dictates the likelihood of recovery, according to the CDC. Those with minor forms of TBI may be able to make a full recovery under the care of a physician. However, a full recovery is much less likely for those with TBIs that are more serious. As a result, these sufferers require long periods of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the effects of TBIs sometimes never abate, requiring life-long care. Some serious cases of TBI cannot be successfully treated and are fatal.

Speak to an attorney

If you suffer a head injury in a car accident, it is important to get medical treatment as soon as possible to maximize your chances of recovery. However, for serious TBI sufferers, the cost of treatment can be financially ruinous. Fortunately, you may have the ability to recover for the cost of your past and future care if driver negligence caused the accident.

To learn more about your right to compensation under the law, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Kanoski Bresney can work with experts to pinpoint the cause of your accident and aggressively pursue compensation from the responsible parties.