Personal Injury LawyerAlbuquerque and Santa Fe, NM
Personal Injury LawyerAlbuquerque and Santa Fe, NM

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Pedestrian Accidents Often Result in Head & Brain Injuries

An MRI of the brain with a traumatic brain injury.

Pedestrians that get hit by cars often sustain serious injuries. Some of the most serious – and most common – pedestrian accident injuries are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

So, just how common are brain injuries in pedestrian accidents? What are the different types of brain injuries pedestrians often suffer? And why are pedestrians at such a high risk of brain injuries after being hit by a car? The legal team at Szantho Law Firm, P.C. in New Mexico explains.

How common are brain injuries in pedestrian accidents?

Unfortunately, in pedestrian accidents, brain injuries are extremely common. According to a scientific study, the likelihood of a pedestrian sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to being hit by a car is:

  • 90 percent chance of a moderate brain injury.
  • 55 percent chance of a serious brain injury.
  • 18 percent chance of a severe brain injury.

To put such numbers in perspective, in New Mexico, more than 20 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involve fatal pedestrian accidents, according to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And in numerous cases, many of those fatal pedestrian accidents occur due to a fatal head or brain injury.

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users

Pedestrian accidents often lead to serious injuries, with head and brain injuries being among the most severe. These injuries can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries, each with its own set of challenges and long-term effects. The mechanism of injury in pedestrian accidents typically involves direct impact forces, which can occur in several ways:

  • Direct Collision: When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the head can be directly impacted by the vehicle itself or by the pedestrian being thrown against a hard surface, such as the pavement or a nearby object. This direct blow can cause concussions, skull fractures, or more severe TBIs.
  • Whiplash Effect: Even if the head is not directly struck, the sudden acceleration or deceleration of the body upon impact can cause the brain to move violently within the skull. This movement, similar to whiplash, can lead to diffuse axonal injuries, where brain cells are damaged due to stretching and tearing.
  • Secondary Impact: After the initial collision, pedestrians may fall to the ground or collide with other objects, leading to secondary impacts to the head. These subsequent impacts can exacerbate initial injuries or create new ones.
  • Crushing Injuries: In severe cases, pedestrians can become trapped under a vehicle or against an object, leading to compression injuries of the head and brain.

Types of brain injuries from pedestrian accidents

  • Concussions: The most common and mild form of TBI, often resulting from a direct blow or a sudden jolt to the head.
  • Contusions: Bruising or bleeding on the brain, which can occur at the site of impact or, due to the brain's movement, on the opposite side of the brain as well.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI): Caused by severe rotation or shaking of the head, leading to widespread damage to the brain's white matter.
  • Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Bleeding into the space surrounding the brain, often leading to increased pressure and symptoms like headaches and vomiting.
  • Penetrating Injuries: Occur when an object breaks through the skull and enters the brain, causing severe damage to brain tissues

Common brain injury symptoms

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms after being hit by a car. You could have a serious brain injury. And if it’s not diagnosed and treated right away, your brain injury could get worse and potentially be life-threatening. Common brain injury symptoms include:

  • Dizziness or poor balance.
  • Frequent, severe headaches.
  • Confusion or disorientation after an accident.
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Sudden, unexplained mood changes.

Take your brain injury symptoms seriously. See a doctor immediately, then talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer at our Albuquerque law firm.

Why should I hire a pedestrian accident attorney?

Pedestrian accidents that result in brain injuries often end up being highly contested. That’s because there’s often a lot at stake for everyone involved, including the insurance company for the at-fault driver. As such, it's common for insurance adjusters to use various tactics to downplay the severity of a brain injury claim.

Our legal team at Szantho Law Firm has years of experience handling injury claims involving pedestrian accidents. As a result, we know how to deal with insurance companies, build strong cases, and fight for the maximum compensation injured pedestrians deserve.

Get a legal warrior who’s prepared to fight for your rights. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation. Our office is located on Prospect Avenue in Albuquerque, and we also have an office in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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