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5 Types of Head Trauma in a Car Accident

St. Louis woman with headache

The mechanics of a car accident are very complex, and it’s impossible to predict what kind of injuries you may sustain and how severe they will be. One of the most commonly affected body parts during a crash is our head. Moreover, many head injuries are potentially dangerous, since they can affect the brain.

If you or another known person were in a car accident and you suspect a head injury, get it checked by a doctor right away. Some injuries can go unnoticed, and complications can easily arise if such damage is left untreated.

The five types of head trauma in a car accident are:


A contusion is a bruise. But, when you are talking about a cerebral (brain) contusion, then the dangers of this injury increase significantly.

A lot of people are confused when it comes to the differences between a cerebral contusion and a concussion. While they are both caused by head trauma and damage to the brain, a contusion is more localized and can cause more blood to accumulate between the brain and skull.


Another type of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is a cerebral concussion. In a pure concussion, nothing shows at a macroscopic level. Instead, damage to the brain is widespread, diffused and might be detected with a CT scan or MRI. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, impaired speech or movement, and even altered emotions.

Penetrating Head Wounds

While they are not so common in car accidents, penetrating head wounds have a high incidence of death. When the victim survives, this injury requires a long and costly recovery. Objects that are not secured inside the car can easily become projectiles during a collision. A serious penetrating wound can lead to seizures, breathing problems, paralysis or coma.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

DAI (diffuse axonal injury) is a type of TBI that affects the connecting fibers inside the brain. As a result, the brain structures are disconnected and seize functioning correctly. Unfortunately, DAIs are quite common and they often result in coma and death. The most prevalent symptom is the loss of consciousness in the next hours of the accident.

Coup-Contrecoup Injury

A coup-contrecoup injury is localized in two separate places of the brain, which are diametrically opposed. This happens when the head is thrown from one direction to another with such force that it hits the inside of the skull, then bounces back and hits the skull again with the opposite side. This results in two contusions.

Why Speak With an Auto Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one suffered a head injury following a car accident, then it’s important to understand that recovery can be strenuous and expensive. An experienced St. Louis auto accident lawyer can help you with the legal process and file a claim for you. That way, you can focus on your recovery instead of stressing about getting all the documents in order.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: July 25, 2023