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Traumatic brain injuries caused by car crashes

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2024 | Accidents & Incidents

Although many drivers try their best to be careful, car accidents can still happen on Illinois roads. Many factors may contribute to these incidents, and the worst collisions can lead to a traumatic brain injury. These are some facts about them and how they develop.

Closed and open injuries

Car accidents can cause either closed or open traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Closed injuries are those that occur when you experience blunt force trauma upon impact. This form of a TBI is sometimes deceiving because there isn’t any physical evidence you can see, and symptoms can lay dormant for hours, days or even weeks. This also makes them more dangerous as you might think you’re perfectly fine after a car accident.

Open injuries occur when the skull is fractured and metal, glass or another object penetrates the skull, piercing the brain. When a person suffers this kind of a TBI, the damage is visible as blood is present.

Types of traumatic brain injuries

Concussions are among the most common traumatic brain injuries. They can happen when a person hits their head from a fall or during a car accident and can range in severity. They may or may not cause the victim to lose consciousness; typical symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and confusion.

Contusions are TBIs characterized by bruising in the brain; blood vessels break, sometimes leading to bleeding. In more serious cases, surgery might be necessary.

A coup-contrecoup is a TBI that affects two different areas of the brain when a car accident causes double the impact. For example, a driver loses control of their steering and strikes a guardrail, then rebounds into traffic and is hit from the side by another vehicle.

A diffuse axonal injury occurs when nerves inside the brain are violently stretched in an accident. This type of TBI can be devastating and cause severe, sometimes permanent damage. In the worst cases, a person can be left severely disabled or slip into a coma and die.