Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of fatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among those over 75 years of age and those between 15 and 34 years of age. They are also the principal cause of TBIs requiring hospitalization among those between 15 and 44 years of age.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a fifth of all TBIs across all age groups are due to vehicle accidents.
Why do TBIs happen in car crashes?
TBIs can occur when you suffer a violent blow or jolt to the head. If you are in a car crash, the impact may throw your head forward with force. That alone could be enough, as the brain hits the inside of your skull. Or you could hit your head on the windscreen, steering wheel or back of a seat. Alternatively, a loose item such as a bag, laptop or pet could hit you in the head with significant force to cause a TBI.
How will a TBI affect you?
TBIs affect people in different ways. Much depend on the area of the brain involved. Damage could include:
- Physical injury: Because your brain controls movement in the rest of your body, you could suffer the loss of movement or feeling in specific body parts.
- Mental injury: Brain damage can affect your ability to think, remember things or carry out other cognitive tasks.
- Emotional injury: Our brain controls our emotions and reactions. Others may notice you are behaving differently, becoming withdrawn or aggressive.
You may not know you sustained a TBI in a car crash until some time after the event. It is essential to seek legal advice after any vehicle accident involving a head injury.