Can a motor vehicle accident cause serious health issues, like a traumatic brain injury? The short answer is yes. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is closed head trauma that is impossible to see on the outside of the body. Someone with a traumatic brain injury may appear to be healthy when you see them, but the brain that has suffered harm. This could cause someone to act differently and have a host of other problems that only a medical professional who views the brain can detect.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics in South Carolina
According to the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, TBI is the leading cause of death for people one through 44 years of age. There are at least 61,000 residents in South Carolina who are permanently disabled due to a traumatic brain injury. The main causes of TBIs in the state are:
- 28 percent result from falls
- 23 percent result from motor vehicle crashes
- Eight percent result from struck by/against events
- 10 percent result from assaults
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury could result from a jolt or blow to the head, or it could be a penetrating head injury that is disruptive of the brain’s function. Not every jolt or blow to the head will result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI will vary. It may be mild, which is a brief alteration in consciousness or mental status, to severe, which can include a longer period of unconsciousness.
If you’ve been in a car accident and start exhibiting symptoms that could be indicative of a brain injury, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Some symptoms can include:
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Numbness and/or weakness in fingers and toes
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression, anxiety, and/or angry outbursts
A concussion is an example of a “mild” brain injury and can occur in a car accident while playing sports, and more. It could be caused by any blow, bump, or jolt to not only the head but also the neck or somewhere else on the body that causes the brain to rapidly move inside the skull. That sudden and unexpected movement of the brain is what causes injury and disrupts how the brain works.
While concussions are classified as mild, they can result in long-term complications and even death in limited situations. This is why it’s important to seek medical treatment after a minor bump to the head, especially in a car accident.
Retaining a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Retaining a Rock Hill car accident lawyer is an important first step in protecting your rights. At the Elrod Pope Law Firm, we specialize in helping victims of car accidents recover compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
It’s important you have someone on your side if the other side tries to get you to sign a release of all claims without knowing the true extent of your injuries. Even a minor traumatic brain injury could require future treatment at some point. Contact our office today at 803-599-3080 to schedule a consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.