UNDERSTANDING BRAIN INJURIES RESULTING FROM CAR ACCIDENTS
March 20, 2017
Brain trauma is a serious issue in the United States. Every year, one million people go to the hospital as the result of blunt force trauma to the head. Of those, 50,000 to 100,000 of them will have prolonged mental impairments that will negatively impact them in both their personal and professional lives.
The majority of brain trauma injuries are the result of auto collisions. That being said, a driver does not have to be moving at a high rate of speed or collide with an object, like a dashboard or steering wheel, to sustain significant injury. Even at slower speeds, brain bruising and other significant damage can occur.
When it comes to a brain bruise, it doesn’t take much for one to occur. They can easily result from one shifting between a stationary position and a moving one very quickly or vice versa.
Because our brains are made up of soft, malleable tissue, any movement such as this can cause your brain to come in contact with your skull. It’s this contact that results in swelling, bleeding, and tearing.
In any case in which an individual’s brain begins to bleed, it can be a potentially life-threatening situation. This is because our skulls are made up of hard bone material. When excess blood accumulates in someone’s injured brain, it has nowhere to go.
As the skull attempts to expand, the blood begins to push against the brain, causing pressure to build up. This, in turn, causes the brain to stop working as it should. Once this happens, the brain begins to die. As a result, brain damage can quickly result, followed by eventual death.
There is a difference between a closed and open head injury. Until recently, doctors believed that when a patient’s skull was fractured, a more severe brain injury would result due to potential swelling, with less severe injuries if the skull remained closed. Since then, scientists have discovered that the opposite is true.
When a patient’s skull becomes fractured, there is a greater likelihood that any buildup in excess pressure may seep through the cracks. This, in turn, is seen as having the potential to reduce possible brain damage as opposed to increasing the risk of it.
If you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury, a car collision attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.
Source: Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, “How the brain is hurt,” Dr. Glen Johnson, Neuropsychologist, accessed March 03, 2017