Car accidents, falls or any other incident in which the head strikes a hard object or is shaken in a whiplash motion can cause traumatic brain injuries. Many Californians don’t realize that even concussions suffered in sports activities can turn out to be catastrophic injuries. The severity of brain injuries is determined mainly by the area of the brain that is damaged, and the extent of the damage, regardless of whether the skull was penetrated.
The impact of a collision can cause the brain to crash against the inner walls of the skull, often several times as it moves rapidly from side to side. The damage caused to the brain might initially go unnoticed if there is no penetration through the skull. However, bleeding, bruising, and torn nerve fibers in the brain could cause swelling of the brain, exacerbating the severity of the injuries.
The swelling of the brain is often a delayed condition in a crash victim who seemed uninjured at first. As the brain swells, the blood flow is compromised, restricting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, often with only a brief moment of unconsciousness, moderate with periods of unconsciousness that last up to six hours or severe with periods of unconsciousness that exceed six hours.
Some brain injuries require no more than medication and rest, while others lead to long-term problems. Traumatic brain injuries could require the victim and his or her loved ones to adjust to a completely new lifestyle. Along with the physical pain and trauma, there might be loss of income, a period of rehabilitation and relearning of skills. If the negligence of another party caused the accident, a consultation with a California personal injury attorney might be a good idea. Legal counsel with experience in navigating lawsuits on behalf of victims who suffered catastrophic injuries could be the first step to recover financial and emotional damages.