Car accidents can bring with them life-changing consequences, and one of the most severe outcomes is a brain injury. Like all injuries, brain injuries can range in severity from mild concussions to severe brain damage. 

Brain Injuries From Car Accidents

Understanding the causes, symptoms, and potential long-term effects of a brain injury that resulted from a car accident is important. Understanding the injury allows a victim to have the right treatment plan and chart the best course forward in their path to healing.

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How Common Are Brain Injuries in Car Accidents?

Unfortunately, one of the most common injuries an individual can suffer after a car accident is a brain injury. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, between the years 2006 and 2010, motor vehicle traffic crashes account for a majority of TBI-related deaths, with an injury rate of about 55.8% in children ages 5 to 14 years old and 47.4% in young adults ages 15–24 years old. 

What Causes Brain Injuries During a Car Accident?

A driver and their passengers can experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) because of the extreme force on their body after a collision. Not wearing a seatbelt and failing to use proper car seats for children can all increase the risk of a TBI. 

Traumatic brain injuries are classified into two types: Closed-brain injuries and penetrating-brain injuries. A closed brain injury happens when a traumatic event has caused the brain to shake back and forth in the skull, resulting in damage to the brain tissue and blood vessels.  

Penetrating brain injuries refer to open head wounds where the skull has cracked or an object has pierced the brain. 

Both closed and penetrating brain injuries can occur during a car accident, though closed brain injuries are more common because of the force of the collision. Other common causes of brain injury can include: 

  • The sudden impact of a car crash can cause the brain to collide with the skull. This can cause contusions, bruising, or bleeding.
  • A sudden stop or a collision can cause whiplash. This is when the head jerks violently, leading to injuries that affect the brain’s stability within the skull.
  • Sharp objects, shattered glass, or other debris in a car collision can strike and penetrate the skull, causing direct harm to the brain

Symptoms of a Brain Injury To Look Out for After a Car Accident

Recognizing the signs of a brain injury is crucial. Depending on the type of accident, some brain injury symptoms may be more visible than others. Additionally, the severity of the brain injury will also impact the symptoms a victim shows. 

Symptoms of a brain injury vary, but some of the more common indicators that a brain injury has occurred include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness: This can be caused by inflammation and tears to the muscles and tendons in the neck region
  • Loss of consciousness: In severe cases, a person may lose consciousness briefly or for an extended period after a car accident
  • Headaches and migraines: These can occur immediately or hours after the accident and include persistent or severe headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting: The trauma to the brain can cause disorientation and a sense of imbalance, which may lead to nausea and vomiting
  • Memory loss: Victims may have difficulty remembering events before or after the accident
  • Changes in vision or hearing: This can include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or sensitivity to light and sound

Delayed Onset of Head and Brain Injuries

It’s important to understand that some symptoms may not immediately manifest after a car accident. The delayed onset of head and brain injury symptoms is not uncommon, and a victim, their loved ones, and their healthcare providers should remain vigilant for the signs of a brain injury to appear days or even weeks after the accident.

Potential Long-Term Effects of a Brain Injury

Brain injuries range in severity but will often impact various aspects of an individual’s life both in the short term and long term. The long-term consequences of a TBI can be broken into three categories: physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects.

Physical Effects

Brain injuries can have a severe effect on an individual’s physical capabilities. Some of these effects can impact a person’s motor skills and ability to balance and perform everyday activities. 

Other physical effects include chronic pain such as headaches or neck pain. In severe cases, victims may develop epileptic seizures. 

Cognitive Effects

If a victim suffers cognitive consequences after a brain injury, they will deal with effects on their speech, communication, memory, and their ability to concentrate. 

Emotional and Behavioral

Victims of a traumatic brain injury may also experience emotional and behavioral issues like mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Understanding triggers and how to manage these emotional and behavioral effects is critical to recovery. 

How Can a Lawyer Help After a Brain Injury?

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of another driver’s negligence, an attorney can help you do the following: 

  • Build a robust case backed by evidence to prove your case
  • Explain your legal options 
  • Determine damages
  • Negotiate for a comprehensive settlement
  • Represent you at trial

Call Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, Today

A gavel on a car accident attorney's desk.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury following a car accident in Tampa, Florida, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, can help you pursue the justice you deserve. 

Contact our team today to schedule your free case consultation


Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Percent Distributions of TBI-related Deaths by Age Group and Injury Mechanism — United States, 2006–2010.

Tampa Car Accident + Personal Injury Lawyers

Jack Bernstein Personal Injury Attorney

For more than 40 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Throughout his career, Bernstein has been a strategist thoroughly dedicated to the idea of protecting the rights of his clients. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

Mr. Bernstein has the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of injury cases. Among the types of plaintiffs Mr. Bernstein represents are individuals involved in car accidents caused by drunk drivers or other exhibiting negligence, medical complications resulting from carelessness caused by a physician or a medical facility, including brain injury, bicycle, motorcycle, moped and truck accidents, admiralty law and cruise ship accidents, accidental drownings, all types of wrongful death lawsuits, along with most injury, catastrophic occurrences and legal malpractice issues.

Our firm handles every type of personal injury and accident case, using negotiation and litigation tactics effectively. We handle cases throughout Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL. With a staff of approximately 40 people, including six lawyers and 34 support personnel, we have the legal resources to get the justice you deserve and the maximum recovery for your losses. Schedule your free consultation today; we are always here to help.

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