According to the Centers for Disease Control—the federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services tasked with protecting the health and safety of the public—over 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year in the United States.
Unfortunately, many traumatic brain injuries happen as a result of motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the CDC estimates that approximately 17 percent of all TBIs that happen in the U.S. occur from auto accidents—and a majority are concussions.
If asked, many people would likely associate a concussion with a hit to the head from a fall. But many concussions don’t happen this way, yet are just as deadly.
Individuals do in fact sustain concussions from trauma to the head as a result of a fall on a hard surface. However, concussions also occur from a jolt to the head. A jolt happens when a person’s head is violently forced back and forth. When the head is forced back and forth, the brain hits hard against the skull which causes bruising or brain damage. Jolts often occur in motor vehicle accidents during head-on collisions.
Bleeding or visible head trauma does not necessarily go in tandem with concussions from jolts to the head. Some people do not display any outward signs of head trauma. However, this doesn’t mean that the concussion is any less dangerous.
This is because concussions can cause severe internal bleeding inside the skull. This bleeding puts pressure on the brain which can cause brain damage or even death. Internal bleeding can also cause blood clots to form. The clots can get caught inside a vessel and cut off precious blood supply to the brain resulting in damage to the organ.
According to the CDC, sufferers can experience a host of symptoms, both temporary and permanent. Symptoms include but are not limited to personality and mood changes, disruptions in sleep patterns, loss of memory and cognitive function, among others.
Symptoms of a concussion, however, will vary depending on the situation. They can last for as little as a few days to several weeks.
Unfortunately, given the prevalence of distracted driving today, motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers texting behind the wheel and not paying attention to the roadways are becoming commonplace.
Individuals who suffered from a concussion or other traumatic brain injuries as a result of a negligent driver may be able to obtain compensation for their injuries. Speaking with a knowledgeable catastrophic personal injury attorney who can offer advice on the law as it pertains to specific circumstances is advised.