When you’re in a bad car accident, your brain can suffer serious damage — especially if your head hits hard against a steering wheel, dashboard or windshield explains Arkady Frekhtman, one of the New York brain injury lawyers at the F&A Accident Law Firm. However, even badly shaking the human brain can cause permanent damage. It’s a delicate organ composed of soft tissues and only weighs about 3.4 pounds. It stays afloat inside your skull in cerebrospinal fluid.
Although falls precipitate the largest percentage of America’s traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – car accidents are the second main cause of them. In fact, one in six hospital injury admissions is due to an auto accident. Furthermore, when you only look at what causes moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries – those requiring treatment in a neurointensive care unit – car crashes cause most of them, followed by gunshot wounds, falls, and different types of assault.
What to Expect Upon Reaching an ER with a Possible TBI
Once you arrive in an emergency room with a brain injury after a vehicle accident, doctors will immediately start assessing the extent of damage you’ve suffered so they can provide the proper treatment. They’ll ask questions and examine you to determine if you suffered any loss of consciousness and if you can recall the exact trauma you just experienced. They’ll also check to see if you have a skull fracture, are experiencing any seizures — or if your brain scan results are abnormal.
Here are some of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries they’ll be looking for — their most obvious symptoms, and a brief list of tests often run to document each condition.
A Traumatic Brain Injury – What’s Often Suffered Due to An Auto Accident
If you’re personally caring for someone who has just suffered a severe head or brain injury following a car accident, you should call 9-1-1 right away and have the person transported to an emergency room. All severe head and spinal cord conditions can suddenly worsen if you delay.
The person may suddenly develop breathing problems, become unable to move an arm or leg, lose consciousness — and even fall into a coma. Never let a recent head injury victim simply go lie down without ongoing observation. It’s always best to err on the side of caution by driving the person to a hospital for further tests and observation — if that will prove quicker than waiting for an ambulance.