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Can I Get TBI from a Car Accident?


A traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as TBI, has the power to drastically alter one's life. From physical changes to cognitive impairments, those who experience this type of injury may face a long road to recovery. TBIs can occur during traumatic events where the head is manipulated. This can include incidents such as falls, assault, and car accidents as well. That's why it's critical to be aware of TBI and its symptoms. Understanding what TBI encompasses can help with early detection and intervention.

What Is TBI?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be extremely damaging to a person’s health. This type of injury occurs from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes accounted for 25% of TBI-related hospitalizations.

Other common examples of how people suffer TBIs include:

  • Falls
  • Fire-arm injuries
  • Assault

There are a variety of factors, including the type and severity of the TBI, that can influence recovery. These injuries can have a significant impact on our ability to move, communicate, understand, and think.

TBIs are split into two types, penetrating and non-penetrating.

  • Penetrating TBI: This form of TBI is also known as open TBI. This occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue. Usually, penetrating TBI only damages a portion of the brain.
  • Non-penetrating TBI: Otherwise known as closed head injury or blunt TBI, this form happens when an external force is strong enough to move the brain within the skull.

In addition, there are three classes of TBI a person can have. These include mild, moderate, and severe TBI.

  • Mild TBI: A mild TBI can sometimes also be a concussion. There may be signs of injury such as bruising and cuts, or present no signs at all. This occurs when a jolt to the head causes both the head and brain to quickly move back and forth.
  • Moderate TBI: This level of TBI is associated with loss of consciousness for over half an hour but less than a day. However, confusion can last up to one week and survivors may have long-term or life-long health problems.
  • Severe TBI: The most serious level of TBIs can result in coma, vegetative state, or death.

TBI Symptoms

Even though some symptoms of TBI may not show up immediately after an accident, it's critical to seek medical attention right away.

Examples of TBI symptoms can include:

  • Physical symptoms
    • Headache
    • Convulsions
    • Blurred vision
    • Nausea
    • Weakness in limbs
    • Fluid from nose or ears
  • Cognitive/behavioral symptoms
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Mild to profound confusion
    • Memory problems
    • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Perception/sensation symptoms
    • Light-headedness
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Mood swings
    • Fatigue

Seeking medical attention after an accident can help identify potential issues early on and allow for prompt treatment to begin.

Can People Recover from TBI?

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a scary and challenging experience, especially for those with moderate or severe TBI. Recovery time for this type of injury is highly dependent on a variety of factors, including the patient’s prior health and access to healthcare and rehabilitation. Depending on the level of severity of injury, treatment can include the following:

  • Counseling
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rest
  • Return to typical activities

Moderate TBI patients may be more susceptible to long-term effects like mental health disorders, such as depression. However, with the right support, lifestyle changes, and care, TBI patients can continue to show improvements to their health over time. Remember, recovery is a process, not a race. With patience and perseverance, many TBI patients are able to bounce back and lead fulfilling lives.

If you’ve suffered TBI from someone’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident, at work, or in other scenarios, contact our personal injury lawyers at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC.

Our team is dedicated to serving our clients and offer free consultations. Call at (937) 403-9033 or reach out to us online.