Any damage to the head has the potential to cause a brain injury. The more serious of these are known as “traumatic brain injuries” or TBIs. No injury has as much life-altering potential as a TBI because the brain is the most important, and the most sensitive, organ in your body. The forces involved in a car accident can cause devastating injury to the brain, even if the rest of your body is relatively unhurt.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic head injury due to a car accident in St. Louis, and the other driver is at fault, you need knowledgeable legal assistance. Contact the St. Louis car accident lawyers of OnderLaw right away to discuss your case. We will work to get you the compensation you need for your injury.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by an external force to the head. This can be from a blow, such as your head striking the dashboard, or from the force of the accident itself, such as whiplash. In all cases, your brain is being pushed forcibly against the interior of your skull.

Think of your brain as a hard-boiled egg in a shell one size too big. If you were to shake the shell, the egg would move around inside the shell. That is essentially what happens inside your skull. The brain does not fill all of your skull. It is surrounded by a network of blood vessels and protective tissue that act as a cushion.

In a “closed head trauma,” the brain may bounce back and forth inside the skull. The movement causes the blood vessels to swell and may damage the brain tissue itself. With more forceful impacts, this swelling and tissue damage can extend deep into the brain.

In an “open head trauma,” the skull is penetrated by a foreign object, and the protective layers around the brain may be torn. Your brain is constantly bathed in cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid keeps your brain and spinal cord safe from toxins and bacteria. If the protective layers are torn, the fluid can leak out, and those other substances can get in, exposing your brain to infection.

Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

The long-term effects of a TBI can be life-altering. TBIs range from a mild concussion to deep penetrating injuries and brain-stem shearing. Depending on the area of the brain that was damaged, the victim could experience:

  • Changes in mood, behavior, and perception
  • Loss of vision, hearing, or other senses
  • Paralysis in one or multiple limbs
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Problems with balance, gait, or body control
  • Altered levels of consciousness or coma

Because the brain heals itself very slowly, it can take years or decades for these symptoms to abate. Anyone suffering from a traumatic brain injury is facing a lengthy period of rehabilitation and recovery from their accident.

How Car Accidents Cause TBIs

The forces involved in even a minor car accident can wreak havoc on your brain. Even if you are wearing a seatbelt and your airbags deploy, the velocity and acceleration of the accident still affect your brain. If your head impacts anything in the vehicle, the consequences can be catastrophic.

  • Whiplash. Think again about the egg in its too-large shell. As the egg is shaken back and forth, it hits the front and the back of the shell. This is what happens to your brain in a whiplash injury. Two sides of your brain are involved in what is known as a “coup-contrecoup injury.”
  • Passenger compartment intrusion. If the accident is serious enough, the roof, windshield, or windows can collapse and strike your head during the accident. This is especially common in a rollover or T-bone type accident.
  • Loose items. Everyone has things in their car that shouldn’t be there: tools, shoes, dog toys. In an accident, these become deadly missiles flying around the interior of the vehicle.

If you are involved in any accident where you were struck on the head, even if you did not lose consciousness, you should be evaluated by a doctor. The symptoms of a TBI can take several hours or days to develop. Some types of brain injury can be discovered by CT or MRI scan and treated before they develop into anything more serious.

After the Accident

Recovery from a TBI depends on the area of the brain that is injured and the degree of injury. Recovery from a mild concussion may require only a few days’ rest. Recovery from a penetrating injury to the motor area of the brain may require years of rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Once you have received a diagnosis, you should contact legal counsel right away. The long-term consequences of a TBI make it imperative that, if you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you receive compensation for your injury and for any continuing medical care or other care you may need. You may also need compensation for lost wages and future income, medical equipment or devices to aid in your rehabilitation, home care, and other costs.

Get Representation for Car Crash TBIs in St. Louis

If you have been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault and were diagnosed with a TBI, you need knowledgeable legal assistance. Contact OnderLaw right away for a free, confidential consultation about your case. We will work with you to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses.

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is five years from the date of injury. That means you only have five years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. You should not wait until that time has expired to pursue your case. Call a St. Louis lawyer for a car accident traumatic brain injury right away so that we can help you with your insurance claim, and then move on to the legal action if it becomes necessary.

The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on your case. Call us to review your case right away. Our legal team is standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve.