Head injuries resulting from automobile accidents are often serious and even fatal.
Imagine you are driving through your everyday route, following traffic rules and safe driving guidelines. Suddenly, as you are about to cross an intersection, a large SUV comes around a turn and blocks the road, leaving you with no other option but to apply a sudden brake, and as a result your head hits the dashboard. The first thought that comes to your mind after you survive such a car accident is often whether you and your fellow passengers are okay. You are more likely to check for evident injuries, such as, excessive bleeding, broken bones, and unconsciousness. Unfortunately, however, most internal injuries caused by an accident often go unnoticed in the beginning.
Car Accidents Often Cause Traumatic Head Injuries
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of head injuries. The driver may suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), if his head strikes on the steering wheel. On the other hand, passengers often suffer serious head injuries when their heads hit the dashboard or the windshield.
Every year, round 500,000 people suffer head injuries in the United States, and road accidents account for one out of every two of those head injuries. Even more alarming, around 34 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States are caused by TBIs.
Around 1.7 million people suffer TBI every year, and 52,000 of these injuries result in death, estimates a 2010 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also reveals that nearly 32 percent of all TBI-related deaths are caused by the vehicle accidents. Also, motor vehicle accidents are the second most common cause of
TBIs, says the CDC report.
Symptoms of a Head Injury may not Appear Immediately
Unfortunately, symptoms of internal head injuries are more difficult to detect. The symptoms may occur right away or may take days or weeks to develop. Some common symptoms of a minor head injury include confusion, temporary loss of memory, temporary loss of coordination, nausea, confusion, and headache.
More serious head injuries may, however, trigger more serious symptoms, including vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, loss of muscle control, bleeding from the scalp, and complete loss of coordination.
Minor Head Injuries Often Heal with Time
Fortunately, not all head injuries are serious, and in most cases, minor injuries require no or very little treatment. It is still important, however, to seek medical treatment after experiencing any head injury in a car accident.
Not all TBI victims Experience a Loss of Consciousness
As already mentioned, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not always immediately apparent. Even when the victim does not lose consciousness, he or she may still suffer a TBI.
Types of Head Injuries
The four major types of serious head injuries include open injury, closed injury, scalp wounds, and concussion. The first type of injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull. For instance, if the victim’s head hits the dashboard hard, the collision may cause fractures in the head. Heavy bleeding is a common symptom of an open injury. On the other hand, a closed head injury occurs when the skull gets a strong blow but does not break apart. Common symptoms include swelling of the head and pain. If the head is shaken due to an accident, it may cause a concussion, with symptoms like headache and loss of consciousness.
If you hit your head with the dashboard in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident claim lawyer.