Getting your head smashed by a huge truck feels a lot like what a football player experiences when he is tackled and is thrown to the ground. A personal injury lawyer represents people with brain injuries from car wrecks and related neck and back injuries, not athletes. But a speeding truck or a blitzing linebacker both cause concussions. The brain is shaken and hits the skull. Bruising, tearing, or a fracture with bleeding and swelling can happen. Brain injuries from car wrecks and football games are all too common. For example, our client was driving this truck when another truck ran a red light, causing him to have surgery.
Brain injuries from car wrecks
If you have been in a car or truck wreck, how do you know if you have suffered a brain injury? It can often be difficult to know.
Symptoms may or may not be apparent immediately. Or they can arise the next day or weeks later. Signs can ebb and flow. The victim of the crash may not relate each symptom to the crash or may have suffered headaches or related problems in the past. Further, a closed head injury can be hard to evaluate, especially since the brain is protected by a hard skull and a sack of fluid.
After a person’s head is thrown forwards and backwards, often striking the airbag, steering wheel or door, they often lose consciousness. When they come to, they may feel a little sore but okay. Or they may be in shock and not understand the extent of their injuries. The severity depends on where and how hard the brain was impacted.
And the Dallas Cowboys lose their first three players of the season
Sunday was a bad night for America’s Team. Not only did they lose their first game, but three players either fractured a collar bone, tore an ACL, or sprained a knee. And you know that it’s only a matter of time before someone suffers a concussion that will cost him to sit out the rest of the season — and possibly affect him for the rest of his life. The NFL is still grappling with a $1 billion class action lawsuit filed in 2012 by several thousand brain injured players, including many Cowboys greats.
Yes, football players play game after game, year after year, and sustain concussions. But a shocking two and one-half million Americans suffer a head injury each year. At least 50,000 lives are lost. The second leading cause of them is car accidents.
Ways to determine the severity of concussions
Medical experts use these categories:
Grade 1 – no loss of consciousness; altered mental state lasted less than 15 minutes
Grade 2 – no loss of consciousness; altered mental state lasted more than 15 minutes
Grade 3 – loss of consciousness
Immediate medical treatment is critical for all three. But many emergency rooms are geared up to only treat those who are dying or suffering from extreme injury – perhaps a Grade 4. They often assume that everyone else has a simple case of whiplash and quickly discharge them.
If an X-ray or even a CT scan is ordered, they cannot detect a traumatic brain injury.
If left untreated, concussions can cause serious long-term injury. They can affect memory, judgment, emotion, and physical health. Brain injuries can result in comas, long-term impairment, paralysis, and even death.
What to watch out for
You should seek medical care if you or someone you know experiences one or more of these symptoms:
Loss of consciousness
Pain in the neck
Loss of memory
Amnesia about the crash
Nausea and vomiting
Delayed response time
Ignoring these symptoms can be dangerous. Fortunately, most mild cases of traumatic brain injury resolve with medical treatment, medications, and the passage of time.
More serious signs include the following:
Loss of coordination
Weakness and numbness in hands and arms and legs and feet
As a personal injury attorney for over 40 years, I have seen many cases where my client did not know he or she had suffered a head or brain injury because their initial symptoms were so subtle. Traumatic brain injuries can be especially difficult to diagnose in children.
A neurologist or radiologist can conduct and analyze tests to diagnose the brain injury including magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).
Brain injury damages deserve compensation
Please seek medical care if you hit or just suspect that you hit your head during a car crash. A relatively minor problem can get worse with time. Once a person has been diagnosed with this injury, it is essential that their condition be closely monitored as relapses are common.
You are not only protecting your health but your right to compensation. Your medical treatment builds an essential record that a good personal injury lawyer will use to recover your damages.
You may be wondering how much money you can receive. Each case is different and depends on the severity of the brain injury and at least 60 other factors but financial recoveries can be substantial.