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Yearly car-crash TBI statistics may be higher than reported

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury that frequently results from a car crash. However, TBI is known as a silent condition; people wrongly think of it as separate from a concussion. Additionally, because symptoms may not be evident right after a crash, many of these types of events go unreported.

According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle accidents and falls account for most of the traumatic brain injuries Americans sustain. The numbers indicate that car crashes are responsible for about 286,000 TBI cases annually. This low number does not tell the whole story.

Two types of conditions

There are two types of traumatic brain injury. The open form involves penetration: A foreign object pierces the skull and enters the brain. The closed and much more common form occurs when the head strikes an object such as a windshield, dashboard or steering wheel. There is no penetration, only a painful bump that may result in a concussion or worse.

Issues with delayed symptoms

Even if a car crash is serious, someone who has suffered a brain injury in the accident may not be aware of it right away. Symptoms could take hours or days to appear. These warning signs might include disorientation, loss of balance, changes in sleep patterns, blurred vision, memory problems, headache or nausea.

Compensation for injuries

Those involved in a car crash might well be more concerned with obvious injuries, such as broken bones. These will show up in a police or medical report following the collision. Due to the lack of apparent symptoms, a brain problem might not get the same official attention.

Prompt medical attention is always critical after a vehicle collision, even if everything seems fine. The victim of a crash can expect compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages and more. However, the more serious the injury, the more an insurance company will try to low-ball a settlement.

A TBI case may not always appear in the annual statistics. However, a brain injury is a very serious matter. It can be a life-altering medical condition, and the victim deserves full and fair compensation.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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