Individuals who suffer brain injuries from car accidents have a long road to recovery. Some, unfortunately, never return to their previous level of function. Brain injuries caused by car accidents can affect a person’s cognitive abilities, coordination and muscle function, sensory abilities, personality, and speech capabilities. Each head injury is different, depending on the part of the brain that is affected and the severity of the injury. The symptoms vary from one patient to the next, but there are several general categories that medical professionals use to describe head injuries.
Open Head Injuries
The main two types of brain injuries from car accidents are open head injuries and closed head injuries. An open head injury occurs when an object pierces the head and injures the brain. Open head wounds can occur in a car accident when the victim’s head is pierced by an object, such as a piece of metal, glass, or, in some cases, an outside object such as a tree. In open head injury cases, there is more than just a contusion. The impact causes some sort of fracture in the facial bones or the skull, which allows for an object to impact directly with the brain. Open head injuries are also known as “penetrating” head injuries, because an object penetrates the skull and injures the brain. Open head injuries are very serious, and can often be fatal, because the foreign object in the brain can permanently alter that area of the brain’s functioning.
Closed Head Injuries
Closed head injuries are generally more common than open head injuries. In a closed brain injury after a car accident, the brain experiences trauma even though no object has pierced it. This is because the impact to the head has caused the brain to swell against the skull, resulting in brain damage. Closed head injuries include anything from a mild concussion, to loss of consciousness that results in permanent brain damage, coma, or death.
Acceleration – Deceleration Injuries
Acceleration – deceleration injuries are a specific subset of closed head injuries. Acceleration – deceleration injuries to the neck and back are known by their more common term: whiplash. However, these types of injuries to the head and brain are much more serious. When the head is moved forward and backward (or side-to-side) in a car accident, the brain can move and strike the skull, causing brain injury and swelling. In an acceleration – deceleration brain injury from a car accident, the brain can be experiencing massive trauma without any physical evidence of impact to the outside of the head.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you think that you or someone you love might be suffering from a brain injury after a car accident, you need to seek immediate medical attention, and then contact an attorney. Brain injury cases can be very complex, and they require a specific skillset and level of expertise. MA auto accident Attorney David Dwork has represented victims of brain injuries in car accidents, and he is available to help you and your family seek compensation for your pain and suffering.