When people hear that a motor vehicle collision has resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they often have preconceived notions about what the damage actually entails. The victim might be off-balance for a time, suffer headaches or experience some level of amnesia. While these symptoms could be accurate, head trauma is a complex injury impacting individuals in different ways.
Depending on several factors, there are numerous major types of head injuries, including:
- Hematoma: This occurs when the blood clots outside the blood vessels. When this happens in the brain, it can lead to a dangerous build up of pressure resulting in the loss of consciousness or permanent brain damage.
- Hemorrhage: A hemorrhage is uncontrolled bleeding around the brain or inside the brain tissue. This can result in headaches, vomiting or pressure on the brain.
- Concussion: A severe impact or rapid brain movement inside the cranium can lead to a concussion. Common symptoms can include blurred vision, cognitive impairment, memory trouble and headache.
- Edema: It is possible that the impact was strong enough to cause the brain to swell. The skull cannot stretch to accommodate the swelling of tissue, so there will be increased pressure on the brain.
- Skull fracture: Even though the skull is strong, sufficient force can fracture this bone. Unfortunately, this also means the brain suffered a dramatic impact as well.
- Diffuse axonal injury: When the head wound is not penetrating and does not cause bleeding, it can be considered a sheer injury. While there are generally no physical indicators of a diffuse axonal injury outside of swelling, the injury can lead to damaged brain cells, permanent brain damage or death.
TBI symptoms can vary greatly depending on the victim’s history of injury, the type of accident and any additional forces involved in the vehicle collision. Symptoms can include persistent headaches, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, confusion, ringing in the ears, seizures, balance issues, difficulty following a conversation, memory trouble and cognitive impairment. It is wise to get a thorough medical diagnosis following a motor vehicle collision.