Motor vehicle collisions can lead to serious, catastrophic injuries that often impact every facet of the victim’s life. Injuries such as brain damage, spinal cord damage, paralysis, burns and amputation can be severe enough to limit an individual’s earning potential and freedom of movement for the rest of their lives. When a serious condition is not diagnosed, however, it can make treatment and therapy impossible.
What is a hidden TBI?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common in violent motor vehicle collisions. From striking the windshield to striking the side-supports of the vehicle, brain damage can be significant. Additionally, the rapid back and forth or side to side motion of the vehicle during an accident can cause the brain to strike the inside of the cranium causing injuries without impacting any other physical surface of the car.
These can be considered “hidden” injuries as the neurological damage – damage to the function of the brain rather than the structure of the brain – might not become apparent until days or weeks after the accident. Common symptoms such as personality changes, mood swings and persistent headaches might take a significant period to develop. An injury is hidden when there is no direct tie to the cause. After a car accident, it is crucial that every vehicle occupant receives a battery of diagnostic tests so the medical staff can build an accurate picture of what the victim might suffer.
How can the impact of a hidden TBI be reduced?
While it is possible that the brain will heal itself and function will return to a pre-accident state, it is more likely that individuals will need training, therapy and encouragement to recover from a vehicle accident TBI. What steps must be taken to reduce the impact of this type of injury?
- Broaden identification
- Increase awareness
- Expand professional education
- Improve access to care
- Boost public funding
- Strengthen coordination
It is only recently that the full effect of concussions and serious brain injuries have been recognized. Too often in the past, a “bump on the head” was downplayed and never considered a significant injury. In recent years, however, the public perception has started to shift. A TBI, even when no physical damage is observable, is understood to be a severe impediment to an individual’s post-accident survival.
If you or a loved one was injured in a serious motor vehicle accident, it is important that you seek both medical and legal guidance. A lawyer can provide the answers you need regarding your legal options for monetary compensation.