Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are serious health conditions that occur when a person sustains disrupted brain function after a blow or jolt to the head. Because auto accidents can inflict powerful forces on the bodies of those inside the car, it is not uncommon for victims of auto accidents to experience injuries of this nature. If you or a loved one was the victim of a TBI, your life could be impacted in several negative ways. If you are lucky, you can make a full recovery following a TBI, but some victims are not as fortunate.
Learning more about TBIs, how they can occur in auto accidents, and what you can do to manage these conditions is important as you strive to return to your normal way of life.
According to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 alone, there were nearly 2.9 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths resulting from TBIs. About 800,000 of these visits were for individuals under the age of 18, although people of any age and demographic are at risk of a TBI. In fact, adults over the age of 65 tend to be highly at risk for these types of injuries.
Even if you take all possible precautions to stay safe on the roads, the actions of a careless driver can leave you with an injury, such as a TBI. If you experienced a TBI due to a car accident, it is possible that the other driver was at fault and could even be held liable for your medical expenses.
Causes of TBIs
Sometimes, TBIs are caused by a direct blow to the head, but a TBI can also be caused in a secondary nature, such as a sharp jolt that causes internal trauma. Because motor vehicle accidents may involve vehicles traveling at moderate to high speeds, the potential for impact is significant. Victims of auto accidents are often at high risk for TBIs.
The CDC listed auto accidents as the second highest cause of TBI-related hospitalizations in the United States, accounting for approximately 20% of hospitalizations during 2014.
Some causes of vehicle accidents that can result in TBIs include the following:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Poor road conditions
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Improper signage or broken traffic lights
- Driver error due to inexperience
Every time you choose to travel on the road as a driver or passenger, your safety could be at risk. While many drivers take safety for granted, the truth is that you can never fully control outside factors (such as unforeseen hazards or other vehicles) on the road. If you were the victim of an accident and sustained a TBI, your life can be changed immediately after the accident and even for longer periods of time.
How Your Life Can Be Impacted
TBIs can impact your life in many ways. Because your brain is the command center of your body, victims can experience both physical, mental, and even emotional repercussions. In mild cases, it is possible to make a full recovery. More severe TBIs can be life-changing events with the need for ongoing medical care and assistance. Being the victim of a TBI can be very tragic for you and your loved ones, but you can receive medical, emotional, and legal support as you adjust to your needs during this challenging time.
Legal Options Available for Victims
Dealing with a TBI can be incredibly stressful and difficult for you and your loved ones. Every aspect of your life could be affected by this devastating injury. While you may be rightfully focused on your health and recovery, it is also important to keep in mind that you could have legal options available to you.
If another party caused your accident or suffering, you could be entitled to seek compensation. You could seek financial recovery for many of your medical care needs, including hospitalizations, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and more. Understanding traumatic brain injuries and how they occur in auto accidents can help you determine if you have grounds for a claim. A lawyer can also assess the details of your accident and review your health outlook in order to give you a sense of what compensation you may be able to seek.
A lawyer could help you determine how to proceed with your case. To learn more, call (215) 642-2335, and a team member with Cordisco & Saile LLC will be available to answer your questions during a free consultation.