Are Car Accidents Responsible for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
A traumatic brain injury is one of the worst types of injuries that a person can suffer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a major cause of death and disability of individuals in the United States, contributing to about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is very important that you seek medical treatment for your injury as soon as possible. Then, it is essential that you understand your legal rights and what steps to take to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is defined as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or the penetration of the brain, that disrupts the brain’s normal function. A TBI may be a concussion, coup-contrecoup, diffuse axonal, contusion, or penetration injury. In some cases, brain injuries can also occur as a result of oxygen deprivation; lack of oxygen can cause a hypoxic or anoxic brain injury.
A traumatic brain injury can be dangerous for a number of reasons. In some cases, trauma to the brain may result in severe swelling, which may lead to a coma or death if not treated quickly. Further, a TBI can affect an individual cognitively, emotionally, and physically. TBIs (specifically, concussions) have also been linked to long-term neurological complications, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. They have also been linked to depression and early death.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen? In an Atlanta GA Car Accident?
A traumatic brain injury may occur any time the head is hit, jostled, deprived of oxygen, penetrated, or otherwise impacted. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the top causes of TBIs in the United States are:
- Falls – Fall injuries account for 40.5 percent of all TBIs in the U.S.
- Assaults – When a person attacks another, a TBI may occur.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBI because the brain is often forced from one side of the head to the other (such as during a head-on collision when the neck is thrust forward and backward) or the head is hit by an object within the vehicle. The CDC reports that motor vehicle accidents are responsible for 14.3 percent of all traumatic brain injuries.
In addition to the above, the CDC lists “unknown/other” as the cause of 19 percent of traumatic brain injuries, and being struck by or against as the cause of 15.5 percent.
Treating a Traumatic Brain Injury in Atlanta
The most important thing that you can do if you suspect a traumatic brain injury is to seek medical care and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment. The longer that you delay to take action, the more serious that your brain injury may become, or the more long-term harm that it may lead to. Depending upon the severity of your brain injury, treatment may include:
- Rest. For minor concussions/TBIs, lots of rest is usually the prescribed treatment option. Your doctor will let you know when you it is appropriate to return to school, work, exercise, etc.
- Emergency care. When a traumatic brain injury is severe, emergency treatment may be necessary. Types of emergency treatment may include providing you with oxygen to the brain, taking action to reduce bleeding and pressure within the brain, and performing surgery if necessary.
- Medications. Medications may be used to help limit any secondary damage to the brain when a traumatic brain injury occurs. For example, the Mayo Clinic reports that a person may be given drugs that induce coma, which may be essential if blood vessels are impeded by the brain injury; anti-seizure drugs to prevent a person from falling and worsening the TBI; and diuretics, which help the body alleviate itself of fluids, which can reduce pressure in the brain.
In addition to the above treatments, it is very common for a person to require rehabilitative care as well. Psychiatrists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, vocational trainers, and more may all be called upon to help an individual recover and get back to life as normal after a traumatic brain injury.
Steps to Take After an Accident to Protect Yourself
If you are in a car accident and your head is impacted, it is important that you take actions to protect yourself, both from a health perspective and a legal one. Some important steps that you should take include:
- Seek medical care. If you are in a car accident, it is essential that you seek medical care, even if you think you are fire. This is even more true if you notice any of the signs of TBI.
- Watching for the signs of a traumatic brain injury. Signs of a traumatic brain injury may include changes in sleep patterns, headache, fatigue, dizziness, changes in emotion (such as crying more frequently), dilated pupils, slurred speech, and confusion.
- Report the accident to the police. Be sure to report your car accident to the police and get a copy of the police report. If you do not, you may have a hard time when it comes to
filing a claim for damages.
- Save all evidence. Whether a police report or medical records, you need to save everything that is related to your car accident and that is considered to be evidence.
- Talk to an attorney. If you have a traumatic brain injury following a car accident, you no doubt will incur a significant amount of costs, ranging from medical bills to lost wages and more. An attorney can help you to file a claim to seek compensation for these losses.
Contact a Brain Injury Attorney in Georgia Today
A brain injury from a car accident can change your life. To help you get back on your feet financially, contact the experienced Georgia car accident attorneys at Millar & Mixon, LLC. You can contact us now using our online form — request a free case consultation today!
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