TBI - Car Accident
Car Accidents are a leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries from Car Accidents

As careful as you try to be in your daily driving, you know accidents happen. That’s why they are called accidents. You hope that if you are in one, no matter who is at fault, the accident is a “fender-bender”. No matter the damage, you hope no one is hurt.

You also know that is not always the case; accidents happen and people get hurt. One of the most tragic injuries resulting from a car accident is a traumatic brain injury. Hundreds of thousands receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in motor vehicle accidents.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A TBI is an injury to head caused by a blow to the head, sudden jerking, or penetration by a foreign object.

A mild injury can cause loss of consciousness for a short period of time. A moderate to server injury can cause a memory loss or an extended loss of consciousness.

Incidence of TBI

About 1.4 million American sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. And about 280,000 receive a TBI due to a motor vehicle accident. Twenty percent of all TBI’s in the USA are caused by motor vehicles It is the second largest cause of TBI. Traffic accidents cause the largest number of hospitalizations for TBI.


Whiplash from a car accident can be extremely damaging to the brain. The head is suddenly bounced back and forth in an auto crash. The brain moves around as the head does.

Billions of nerves cells that send information to other cells through nerve fibers can be damaged. The fibers can be stretched, and communication between nerve cells is damaged.

Whiplash can put a victim into a coma from a “fuse axonal injury”. Isotropic stress damages the internal structure of a cell. Then, the density of the cell changes. This is like injuries experienced by soldiers victimized by blast injuries in combat.

The brain floats around in the skull when the head bounces around during a car accident. The brain smashes into the walls of the skull and is bruised and torn. The damaged brain bleeds.

The skull strikes the steering wheel, concreate pavement, the dashboard or other objects. The frontal lobe is often the point of impact. The brain can slam into the back of the skull causing damage to the occipital lobe that is used in visual processing.

Types of Brain Injuries

Injuries include:

Secondary injuries also occur. A collection of blood can build up within the skull. The is a hematoma. It can happen days offer the initial injury.

When swelling happens inside the brain, it is an edema. This causes intracranial pressure that must be relieved.


Prevention is better than treatment.

Common and necessary ways to prevent a motor vehicle traumatic brain injury:

  1. Wear a seat belt
  2. Use a child safety seat if the child is too young and small to wear a seat belt
  3. Don’t drink and drive
  4. Wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle, an ATV, or a scooter.

It takes little to prevent or reduce the seriousness of a TBI. Just do it.

Call us to discuss any legal issues about a traumatic brain injury. Wagar Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP, (504) 830-3838