Unfortunately, there are many objects in a car’s interior that can cause traumatic brain damage if they strike a victim’s head in a crash, including:
- Windows. In a side-impact collision, a driver is less likely to be fully protected by the frontal airbag, often resulting in a skull fracture. When the head strikes the window or frame of the car, the brain is damaged on the impact site, but also pulled away from the other side of the skull. Sideways impact can also increase the risks of a contrecoup injury, which occurs when the brain “ricochets” from the trauma site to the opposite side of the brain.
- Steering wheel. Although many newer car models are equipped with airbags to prevent contact with the steering wheel, a broken or malfunctioning seat belt can fail to restrain the driver, causing fractures or bruising of the brain (also called contusion).
- Roof. Some brain injuries occur when the head hits the roof or the headrest—areas that are often not padded enough to absorb impact. This frequently causes injuries to the parietal and occipital lobes, resulting in problems processing visual information (such as recognizing words, seeing colors, or reading and writing).
Non-Impact Brain Injuries
Many victims suffer brain injury in an accident even if their heads do not make contact with an object. If the head is thrown violently, the brain may strike the inside of the skull, tearing the nerve fibers or causing bleeding in the brain. The brain will need time to recover from the trauma, and may even need surgical intervention.
The only way to know the true extent of damage to your brain is to seek medical attention immediately after a crash, and to follow up with a doctor regularly in the weeks after your accident. Brain injury recovery may take months or even years, so it is important to stay positive and get plenty of rest to avoid becoming frustrated by your condition. If you are having trouble paying for your treatment, you may be able to hold the other driver liable for your injury costs. Click the contact link on this page to find out your legal options.