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Traumatic Brain Injury Following a Car Accident
Washington, DC; Maryland, and Virginia
Brain Injury and Car Accident Lawyers - Chaiken, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.
After falls, car accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (sometimes called TBI). Brain injury can be immediately apparent, or its effects can be delayed. It is also often a very mysterious condition and it can be impossible to predict the full effects of your brain injury. The possibility of serious brain injury whose effects are unknown is one good reason to see a doctor after any car accident, no matter whether you feel fine or not. And if you or someone you love has experienced a brain injury, an experienced car accident lawyer represents your best chance to ensure that the costs of that injury will be paid.
The injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. have represented over 10,000 victims of serious injury, including victims of brain injury due to a car accident. We may be able to help you. Please call for a free case evaluation today.
Brain Injury Causes
Brain injury results when traumatic force is applied to the brain. This force can be the result of a strike to the head, or it can be the result of the brain striking the side of the skull. When you are in a car accident, your vehicle often experiences tremendous forces that can cause the car to accelerate or decelerate rapidly. Your body and your brain must also be accelerated and decelerated.
By holding your body in the seat, the seatbelts distribute force over the body as much as possible. Airbags are designed to diminish the impact of your body or head striking the dash or steering wheel. But your unrestrained head can be whipped around as the body pulls the neck and the neck pulls the head. This creates what are known as whiplash injuries, and can include neck injuries as well as brain injuries.
Head Rests and Brain Injury
Head rests are now required in all new vehicles. Whether they are stationary or adjustable, they must meet certain standards, although these standards are minimal, and only cover the basic geometry of the head rest (or head restraint). Not all head rests that meet this minimal standard are actually effective at preventing neck and brain injury.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests head restraints under conditions simulating a rear-end accident, and found that dozens of cars by nearly all manufacturers had head restraints that were considered poor because they failed to protect a dummy against dangerous, whiplash-causing forces during a simulated rear-end crash, which may increase your risk for injury if you own one of these cars.
Diagnosing Brain Injury
If you go to the emergency room after a car accident, you may be given a head x-ray to look for immediately evident skull fractures and bleeding or swelling of the brain. Sometimes an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) will also be used. These can detect most types of life-threatening injuries, but are often unable to detect brain injury that may be spread over several regions of the brain.
Sometimes, these injuries can be detected using more advanced imaging techniques that monitor brain activity. Other times, injury can only be detected by noticing and analyzing changes in your behavior, feelings, or thoughts, changes that might begin subtly but grow over time.
Watch for Signs of Brain Injury
Over the days and weeks following a car accident, be vigilant for signs of brain injury and whiplash. If you experience extreme mood changes or abnormal thought patterns, do not dismiss them, as they may be a sign of serious injury. Brain injury can be debilitating and may require a lifetime of care and treatment, so it is best not to accept any settlement from an insurance company before you talk to a lawyer with experience in brain injury cases who can tell you whether a settlement is reasonable in your case.
If you would like to talk to one of the Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. please call or email us today for a free brain injury case review.