Head Injuries and Concussions in Car Accidents
Nearly any part of the body can be damaged in a car crash, but some of the most severe injuries are concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Damage to the brain can have lifelong consequences, affecting both your work and your ability to do the things you love.
You have a right to recourse under New Mexico law – but you must take action to protect that right. Otherwise, you might miss out on your only opportunity to obtain the money you rightfully deserve for your injury-related expenses.
New Mexico car accident attorney Andras Szantho has the skill and trial experience needed to successfully handle brain injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents. If you’ve been hurt, don’t go it alone. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.
How brain injuries occur in car accidents
Most brain injuries are closed-head injuries, which occur when the brain strikes the inside of the skull, usually due to blunt trauma. Car accidents often cause injuries when an occupant hits their head on the windshield, a window, the steering wheel, or another part of the vehicle.
However, it’s important to remember that you don’t actually have to hit your head to get a brain injury. If the head moves violently back and forth (causing whiplash), that can cause the brain to essentially “rattle around” inside the skull, causing the front and rear to hit the inside of the cranium. We call this a “coup contrecoup” brain injury and it’s particularly common in rear-end accidents.
Less common, but more potentially severe, are penetrating head injuries in which an object such as a piece of metal pierces the skull. This sometimes happens in truck accidents, for instance, or in head-on collisions with a lot of force involved.
Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) but remember that no brain injury is truly minor. Even a mild TBI can take weeks to heal and have significant consequences for your life. That’s why it’s critical that you have a medical professional examine you right away after your car accident. What might seem like a headache might turn out to be a much more serious, life-threatening head injury.
Symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury
If you’ve been in a car crash, you need to watch out for traumatic brain injury symptoms because they can be key warning signs of a serious head injury. Your symptoms might include:
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty remembering
- Disrupted sleep patterns (insomnia or narcolepsy)
- Dilation of pupils
- Difficulty reading or concentrating
- Sensitivity to light
- Mood and personality changes
- Balance problems
Remember, not every brain injury results in loss of consciousness. Indeed, some brain injuries may not have any noticeable symptoms at all for hours or days. That’s one of the reasons you need to get checked out by a doctor right away after a car accident.
Many doctors will administer a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test of a person’s head to determine if there’s brain damage as a result of a car accident. If not treated or diagnosed promptly, many head injuries or brain injuries can have serious or life-threatening consequences, especially if there’s internal bleeding in the brain.
How an attorney can help
The long-term cost of a brain injury can be substantial. You may be out of work for some time and need extensive medical treatment. If you have permanent damage, your ability to earn income may be permanently reduced, and you may need medical care or therapy for the rest of your life.
The financial impact of a head injury or brain injury sustained in a car accident can quickly add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more. Those costs matter, and if your injury was sustained in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you should be fairly compensated.
However, car insurance companies fight hard against brain injury claims because they know they’re a huge exposure to their bottom line. They will look for any opportunity to dispute fault for the accident or downplay the extent of your injuries. Attorney Andras Szantho knows how to fight back, from thoroughly investigating your accident to taking a hard line in negotiations. If they won’t reach a fair settlement, we’re prepared to take them to trial.
Get an attorney on your side right away to protect your rights and fight for your interests. If you hit your head or suspect a brain injury after a car accident, give us a call today to schedule your free consultation with the Szantho Law Firm.