Motor vehicle accidents can have a significant impact on the brain. The brain is a vulnerable organ that rests inside your skull: A sudden blow or violent shaking might lead to lifelong damage. If you got into a car crash in California, it’s important to understand how a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur and what to do if you think you may have suffered one.
Understanding traumatic brain injuries
A TBI can happen when the head is suddenly and violently jarred, as in a car accident. The force of the impact causes the brain to slam against the skull, which can damage delicate neural tissue. A TBI can also occur when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain.
The symptoms of a TBI can be mild (a headache or dizziness) or severe (loss of consciousness or paralysis). If you think you may have suffered a TBI, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will perform a physical examination and order imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, to assess the extent of the damage.
Treatment for a TBI
The treatment for a TBI will vary depending on the severity of the injury. For milder injuries, rest and over-the-counter pain relievers may be all you need. More severe injuries may require hospitalization and intensive rehabilitation. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove blood clots or repair damaged skull bones.
How to pay for your treatment and other compensation
The law requires every driver to carry auto insurance for motor vehicle accidents. If you suffered brain injuries in a crash, your insurance company would likely cover the cost of your medical treatment.
You should note, however, that California is a fault state for auto insurance. Meaning that if the other driver caused the accident, their insurance company should cover your damages. You can even go further to file a lawsuit to get additional compensation like lost wages and pain and suffering.
An accident may be chaotic and confusing, at the very least, but how you handle the aftermath can have a big impact on your future. You may not know that you’ve suffered from TBI because most symptoms don’t show even after two weeks of injuries; therefore, postponing or avoiding getting help sooner is a big mistake both for your health and legally.