Car accidents are one of the largest contributors to traumatic brain injuries in North Carolina and throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 64,000 deaths involving traumatic brain injuries in 2020. That calculates to approximately 176 brain injury deaths every day.
Even minor fender benders can cause brain trauma. In some cases, people may not know they have a brain injury until several days or weeks following the accident. It is helpful to know how to spot the signs of brain damage so you can seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How is the brain injured?
The impact of a car accident can cause a person’s head to hit the side window, steering wheel or back of the seat. The soft brain tissue, which sits suspended in a fluid within the skull cavity, can smack into the hard skull bone, causing brain bleeding, inflammation and bruising.
What are the signs of an injury?
Symptoms of brain injuries may vary depending on what part of the brain was injured and the severity of the impact. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, signs of mild brain injuries include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, changes in mood or sleep and trouble concentrating. People who suffer from moderate to severe cases may experience the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Tingling in the extremities or muscle weakness
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilated pupils or slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
Injured people may suffer from mood disorders, anxiety and depression.
Brain injuries can affect many areas of one’s life and can have long-term consequences. It is important to get medical help after a car accident to minimize any damage that may occur.