Just as any part of the body can bruise after suffering trauma, so can the brain. It’s a common type of head injury to sustain in a motor vehicle accident.
What causes a brain contusion?
Contusions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can cause bleeding and swelling in the brain. Any type of head trauma, such as a skull fracture, can cause bruising. This can happen in a motor vehicle accident when an occupant’s head strikes the dashboard or another object.
Another injury that can occur is a coup contrecoup. This happens when there’s damage to both sides of the brain. The side that receives the initial blow or impact suffers injury. But when the force is severe enough, the brain may hit the side of the skull on the other side, also causing damage — the contrecoup.
What are the symptoms of a brain contusion, and how is it treated?
The symptoms may vary and depend on whether it’s a mild, moderate or severe TBI. Sometimes they develop or change over a period of time.
Some of the symptoms of a brain contusion include:
- dilated pupils;
- memory loss;
- loss of consciousness;
- personality changes;
- attention problems;
- speech difficulties;
- numbness; and
- impaired motor coordination.
Treatment also varies. A mild TBI may not require anything more than rest, pain medication and ice. A more serious injury may lead to hospitalization for observation and surgery (to control bleeding or repair a skull fracture). Lacerations may necessitate stitches.
The long-term impact depends on the extent of damage. Mild contusions usually heal without much intervention. More severe contusions can result in permanent disability and the need for physical, occupational and/or speech therapy.
How does a brain contusion impact damages in a car accident claim?
To file a claim against another party, there must be evidence of negligence. A police report that shows the driver received a citation for driving under the influence is one example. Witnesses who saw the other driver speeding and run a stop sign may prove negligence. It’s important to have ample proof when fault lies with someone else.
Proving fault is just one element of a car accident claim. Another is being able to establish the damages suffered. Head injuries sometimes can be challenging because the effects might not be evident immediately. This is why it’s important not to settle the case too soon because there are three stages of brain injury rehabilitation.
Victims need to consider not only the immediate medical costs from a brain contusion, but also future costs that may arise. Rehabilitation or therapy to deal with complications may be necessary future expenses. Lost wages and expected future earnings if disabled also need to be compensated.
The extent of damage sustained in the accident could allow for other types of compensation. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, and reduced quality of life are just some examples.
The best way to determine the value of a car accident claim is to seek legal advice. An attorney at D.J. Banovitz personal injury law will consider the prognosis and anticipated length of recovery when figuring a fair amount to request in a traumatic brain injury claim. Victims or concerned loved ones can get a fast response by using our contact page.