Car accidents: A major cause of traumatic brain injuries

Car accidents are a major cause of traumatic brain injuries, which can affect peoples’ lives in many ways.

The sudden impact of an automobile accident in Arkansas can cause more than just extensive property damage. People who are involved in forceful collisions may suffer from catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injuries. Not only can these injuries affect peoples' ability to function on a daily basis, but they can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of all deaths caused by injuries in the United States involve brain injuries. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of these deaths, and the third leading cause of TBI-related injuries in the country.

What happens to the brain during an accident?

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the soft tissue of the brain hits against the hard interior of the skull bone. This can happen when a car accident victim smashes his or her head against something, like the dashboard or side window of the car. TBIs can also occur when a person's head suddenly snaps back and forth. In some cases, flying objects during a collision can penetrate the skull cavity and enter the brain, causing substantial damage as well.

Spotting the signs of brain trauma

Unlike some injuries, such as broken bones and spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries are not always immediately apparent. People who are affected by severe TBI may lose consciousness, experience seizures or have intense headaches. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, muscle weakness, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting are also signs of more severe brain injuries.

People who have mild cases of TBI, on the other hand, may not notice that they have a problem until several days after the accident occurs. Skull fractures and bleeding of the brain may occur right away. However, as the brain continues to swell, pressure builds up in the skull cavity and can have a major impact on long-term cognitive functioning.

The aftermath of traumatic brain injuries

While traumatic brain injuries vary from mild to severe, they can cause serious cognitive impairment that, in some cases, may be permanent. The overall affect depends on what part of the brain was injured, as well as the extent of the damage. People may have trouble concentrating, performing detail-oriented tasks or remembering certain events. Some TBI victims find it difficult to write, speak or understand language. Physicians often use a multi-faceted approach to treatment, which involves a team of medical professionals. This team includes occupational, speech and physical therapists.

How an attorney can help

Unsuspecting victims of a tragic car accident may want to seek legal counsel from an attorney in Fayetteville. Brain trauma and other serious injuries received from an accident can result in hefty medical bills, emotional trauma and the inability to work. You may be able to get compensation for your injuries depending on the specific details of your case.