Even a minor car crash like a rear-end collision can cause a serious injury. For example, you may suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
The symptoms of a brain injury may not appear until hours or even days after the accident, which is why it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Car crashes and TBI
Along with falls, car crashes are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle accidents are responsible for about 286,000 TBIs each year in the U.S.
Traumatic brain injuries are either classified as closed or open. An open TBI occurs with a foreign object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Closed TBI is the more common form, which results from a blow to the head. For example, if you are in a rear-end collision, the jarring impact may force your head into the steering wheel.
Looking for red flags
You may walk away from a minor collision not realizing that you have a head injury. Symptoms such as headache, confusion, dizziness, loss of balance or sensitivity to light may not show up for hours, possibly days. An early medical evaluation is essential so that if there is a brain injury, treatment can begin as soon as possible. You may recover from a concussion within a few weeks, but treatment for a more serious brain injury will require a different type of care, and you may have to seek the help of a specialist such as a neuropsychologist.
If a negligent driver caused the crash that resulted in your brain injury, you have a right to full and fair compensation to cover your current and future medical expenses and more. You also have access to legal remedies if post-concussive injury protocols are not provided to you. Remember to seek prompt medical care and a proper diagnosis following any kind of vehicle crash, and then explore your legal options.