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Car Crashes and Traumatic Brain Injuries

By Viles Beckman | Mar 30, 2020

Florida Car Accident Traumatic Brain Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) resulting in hospitalization. A TBI can occur due to a sudden strike of the brain against the skull, violent shaking, or a blow to the head from another object. Unfortunately, even at low speeds, the force of impact can still cause damage to the brain. These unfortunate brain injuries often occur during a negligent car accident, like a drunk driver or a distracted driver, who hits an innocent victim and changes their life forever.

If you suffered a brain injury during a Florida car accident, contact Viles & Beckman right away.

Here’s what every driver should know about Florida auto accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

What is a traumatic brain injury or TBI?

what is a tbi after car accident - personal injury attorneys - viles and beckman fort myersA traumatic brain injury is usually caused by a violent blow to the head or as a result of the head being jammed forward, like it would with whiplash. A TBI can also occur when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain tissue, like a piece of a vehicle in a car accident.

A traumatic brain injury is often classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on if the injury has temporary effects or more serious results that can cause permanent physical damage to the brain. Of course, some TBIs can cause result in death if they are serious enough.

Classifying a Mild, Moderate, and Severe TBI

When determining the level of severity of a traumatic brain injury, the terms mild, moderate, or severe are often used. The level of severity is most often based on how long the person loses consciousness, if they suffer post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), and the results of a brain imaging scan.

A mild, moderate, or severe TBI may be classified as so based on the following:

What is a Mild TBI?

  • No loss of consciousness, or a brief loss of consciousness, usually lasting few seconds or minutes
  • Post-traumatic amnesia that lasts for less than 1 hour after the TBI occurs
  • Brain imaging results appear normal

What is a Moderate TBI?

  • Patient loses consciousness for 1 to 24 hours
  • Post-traumatic amnesia lasts for 1 to 24 hours after the TBI occurs
  • Brain imaging results show some abnormalities

What is a Severe TBI?

  • Patient loses consciousness for more than 24 hours, or
  • Patient goes into a coma
  • Post-traumatic amnesia lasts for than 24 hours after the TBI
  • Brain imaging results show serious abnormalities that could be permanent

What is Whiplash?

While a whiplash injury is not directly considered a traumatic brain injury, it could put you at risk for one. Here are some symptoms of whiplash to look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness of upper extremities
  • Cognitive difficulties (diminished concentration, memory trouble)

If you experience the above symptoms after being involved in a car accident, it’s crucial to contact your physician or seek emergency care as soon as possible.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. After being involved in a car crash, take notice if you feel any of the below symptoms:

  • Headaches or pressure in the head
  • Losing consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble responding to questions

Concussions Can Be Serious

Concussion may be classified as a “mild” TBI because they are usually not life-threatening, but they should be taken very seriously. the effects of a concussion can be serious.

After a concussion:

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Follow your doctor’s orders
  • Get lots of rest
  • Monitor your symptoms and let your doctor know if anything changes

How Can You Tell if You Have a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury?

A severe traumatic brain injury may include any of the following symptoms above as well as:

  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Pupil dilation in one or both eyes
  • Clear fluid out of nose or ears
  • Unable to wake up from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Extreme confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual behavior
  • Coma

Damages Caused by Traumatic Brain Injuries

Those that have suffered traumatic brain injuries will typically suffer a number of severe damages that can drastically affect their lives. A person’s finances can be drained when they suffer a traumatic brain injury because of the extensive medical bills that can accumulate. Traumatic brain injuries can require emergency treatment meaning ambulance fees, surgery, drugs, and recovery time. Even when a traumatic brain injury gets treated, there can be lasting damage that can require therapy and medication to help control symptoms. It is important to remember that managing symptoms is often all that can be done for many traumatic brain injuries since they can result in permanent damage.

Traumatic brain injuries can put someone out of commission for long periods of time. Severe traumatic brain injuries that require surgery to treat can have recovery times that can last up to several months. All that time is spent with a patient unable to work and they can miss out on wages even if they do have sick leave. In other cases, traumatic brain injuries can cause long-lasting symptoms that can interfere with a person’s ability to work and in some cases, a person can develop a cognitive disability as a result of traumatic brain injury that can affect their ability to work in the career they have. This all can have serious effects on a person’s mental and emotional state leading to immense pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the development of psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.

Seek an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for injuries including TBI. Contact Viles & Beckman, LLC today at (239) 334-3933 for a free case evaluation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to answer all of your questions and ease your concerns.


About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Viles & Beckman LLC who have a combined experience of nearly 60 years: Marcus VilesMichael Beckman or Maria Alaimo. The information provided in this article comes from years of experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida along with extensive research.

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