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Here’s What Could Happen to Your Brain in a Car Crash

Depending on the severity of the injury, these symptoms may fade away with time. But, unlike a bone that heals by itself in time, the neurons can’t really be rebuilt.

Your brain is one of the most delicate parts of your body. And, because it’s a delicate soft tissue, it means that it can be squeezed, stretched, and pulled by external forces. This is actually what happens when you receive a blow to the head that whips your head forward and backward, such as in the case of a car accident. This rapid movement may cause your brain to hit the inside of your skull. 

St. Louis woman with severe headache after accident

However, this is just a superficial look at what happens to your brain during a car accident. Let’s take a closer look at what effects may occur immediately after and how you can recognize the signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI.)

What Happens After a Brain Injury

Two types of reactions often occur immediately after a brain injury. One is visible to an outside observer and has to do with the victim’s behavior and reactions. The other one happens inside the brain. 

If the injury is severe, the victim may lose consciousness for a few minutes, hours, or even days. As they regain their consciousness, you may notice various neurological symptoms, such as irritability, aggression, or even post-traumatic amnesia (PTA.)

Depending on the severity of the injury, these symptoms may fade away with time. But, unlike a bone that heals by itself in time, the neurons can’t really be rebuilt. And that has to do with what happens in the brain after the crash. 

After a TBI, the brain tissue will often react by releasing different biochemicals. These chemical substances flood the brain, damaging and destroying brain cells in a process called “secondary cell death.” Secondary cell death is a major factor in the neurological deterioration of TBI patients. 

How Long Does Recovery Take?

The honest answer is that recovery depends on the severity of the injury and varies from person to person. Even when it comes to mild traumatic brain injuries, some people can be as good as new in just a few hours, while others may require a few weeks to get back on their feet completely. 

The healing process in a severe TBI isn’t very straightforward either. Some steps of the recovery may take longer than others, while some might overlap. 

To give you a more accurate understanding of how recovery after a TBI is measured, here’s a look at the Rancho Los Amigos Scale. This is a scale that describes eight stages through which patients are expected to pas: 

  • Level 1: No response. The patient is in a deep coma.
  •  Level 2: General response: The patient sleeps most of the time but has brief moments of consciousness.
  • Level 3: Localized response: The patient is up for longer periods.
  • Level 4: Confused and Aggressive: As the patient spends more time awake, he may become confused or even aggressive.
  • Level 5: Confused, but not Aggressive: Although the patient cannot perform complex commands, basic functions are back.
  • Level 6: Confused and Appropriate: Although the patient still needs some help, he can now perform most commands independently.
  • Level 7: Automatic and Appropriate: The patient can now perform regular commands with ease and automatically and learn new skills, although slightly slower than before the injury.
  • Level 8: Purposeful and Appropriate: The patient is able I function normally. 

St. Louis Brain Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, it’s your right to receive compensation from the party at-fault. An experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney can help you get a fair settlement while focusing on regaining your health. 

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: June 9, 2021