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What If Everything Seems Okay After a Car Wreck?

This car accident injury may be silent and dangerous, even when all seems to be okay.

St. Louis woman examining car

After a car accident, the first instinct of the accident victims and those around is to check if there are any injuries, what the extent of injuries is, and whether of not the accident victims need to visit the emergency room. However, when everyone seems to be reasonably okay, or there are just minor cuts and bruises, everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

While everything seems to be okay, it might not be. If any of the passengers sustain a blow to the head, even a minor one, the injury could be more serious than it appears to be. In this post, our St. Louis car wreck lawyer discusses car accident-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in detail.

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

TBI’s are more common in automobile accidents than you may think. Moreover, at times, TBI’s are silent. They can be dangerous even when all seems to be okay.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other federal agencies regularly compile data on the number of automobile accidents and the number of fatalities and injuries. However, there is no formally compiled data about car accident-related head injuries and resultant TBI’s.

However, other sources such as neuroscientists and consumer safety studies tell us how dangerous and pertinent TBI’s are in car accidents.

  • The skull provides the brain enough protection from most minor injuries. While these minor injuries often disappear on their own, some do not.
  • Automobile accidents are a leading cause of head injuries. Considering statistics, car accidents account for almost 28% of TBI’s, while sports injuries make up about only 20% of all head injuries and other common household accidents like slips and falls and physical assaults make up the rest.
  • In the United States, out of all reported injury deaths, one third or 34% are TBI related deaths.
  • Out of about 500,000 TBI’s needing hospitalizations reported each year, a whopping 49% are caused by car accidents.

TBI’s are most commonly associated with loss of consciousness. However, increasing scientific research has proven that loss of consciousness might not always be present and indicative of a TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can manifest into a number of life-altering and debilitating consequences ranging from physical disabilities to emotional, social, and intellectual disabilities.

Injuries and causes of TBI’s

A head injury can result in a concussion or a contusion. A contusion is bruising on the brain tissue that occurs if the brain hits hard on the skull wall during the impact. A contusion can result in a subdural hematoma (collection of blood on the brains surface) or a subarachnoid hemorrhage (collection of blood between the brain tissues, and can result in brain damage, coma, chronic headaches, sensation loss, hearing loss, loss of senses like touch, taste or smell, seizures, and paralysis.

A concussion is a more common form of a TBI. It is a closed head injury that occurs when the brain is shaken with the force of an impact, like in an automobile accident. A concussion can be either mild or severe and can lead to severe consequences.

What to do after a car accident

TBIs are known to cause long-term disabilities, brain damage, and can be debilitating. That is why receiving immediate medical attention for any head injury – even minor – and ruling out the possibility of a TBI is extremely essential.

If you have been involved in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately, even if everything seems to be okay. Additionally, ensure your legal rights are protected by speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Updated: May 13, 2020