What Types of Brain Injuries Can Be Caused by a Car Accident?

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A man rubs his head in pain after a brain injury caused by a car accident.

In any car accident, if your vehicle has been damaged in any way, it’s likely that your body has sustained some damage as well. Even though some cuts and bruises may go away by themselves over time, other, more severe injuries can occur. A brain injury is one kind of automobile accident injury that requires prompt medical care. No matter how you feel after a collision, getting checked out by a reputable medical professional is crucial because a brain injury can be challenging to diagnose.

Although it may take some time for symptoms of a brain injury to appear, you should always seek medical attention immediately following a car accident to get checked out and prevent further harm. Here are some examples of the various types of brain injuries commonly sustained in auto accidents, their signs and symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Brain Injuries Caused by a Car Accident


A concussion is the most frequently sustained type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI sustained in a car accident. During a collision you may strike your head on the dashboard, window, steering wheel, or another portion of the automobile. Your brain may be jolted within the skull or may bump up against the walls of your skull due to sudden head trauma leading to a concussion.  Concussion signs and symptoms may include dizziness, confusion, and even unconsciousness. Although concussions are often considered a minor TBI, they still should receive prompt medical attention, as they may be fatal in some cases.


The medical name for a bruise is a contusion. With a brain injury like a concussion, where part of the brain is pushed against the skull, bruising on the brain may occur. Pain and swelling in the brain can also result in a brain contusion, which raises the chance of a blood clot or other significant problems in the brain. A significant brain contusion might necessitate surgery to resolve this serious issue. A brain contusion may cause speech difficulties, cognitive disorders, and memory problems.


A form of brain injury known as a “penetrating brain injury” occurs when a foreign object enters the brain. Although it could be easier to detect than other brain injuries, this kind of lesion needs to be handled with extreme caution. Therefore, if any type of penetrating head injury is suspected, it is advisable to leave the object in place and let medical personnel deal with this kind of injury. Do not attempt to remove the object yourself.


After sustaining a head injury, you may see bleeding from a cut or an open wound on the head or face. However, internal bleeding, often known as hemorrhaging, is another possible injury to be sustained in a car accident. A subarachnoid hemorrhage—bleeding in the area around the brain—or an intracerebral hemorrhage—bleeding in the brain tissue—can occur following an accident. Uncontrolled bleeding in or near the brain during a hemorrhage can result in symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.


A hematoma is a type of blood clotting or collecting that takes place outside of the blood vessels. A hematoma is an extremely serious injury that can result in pressure building inside your skull. This kind of brain injury often happens when a blood vessel bursts due to a fall or car accident. A hematoma’s pressure on the brain has the potential to induce loss of consciousness, brain damage, and other symptoms.

Brain Injury Symptoms and Signs

Keep an eye out for symptoms of a head injury, such as ringing in the ears, confusion, nausea, and headaches. After a car collision, symptoms of a more severe brain injury can include loss of consciousness, vomiting, balance issues, disorientation, seizures, or the leakage of clear fluid from the nose or ears. It is essential to visit a doctor if you are unsure of the cause of your headaches following a car accident.

If you observe signs of a severe head injury following a car accident, call 911 right away. When paramedics arrive at the accident scene, they may treat your immediate medical needs. You should also visit the emergency room immediately if you experience minor traumatic brain injury symptoms following a car accident. While you might be tempted to handle minor signs like a headache on your own following a vehicle accident, you run the danger of postponing care for a significant condition like a brain injury. It is always advisable to receive a medical evaluation following a car accident, even if you feel fine. Adrenaline can mask injury symptoms and traumatic brain injuries can easily go undiagnosed without proper evaluation.

Diagnosing a Head Injury Following a Car Accident

A doctor can identify a head injury using various instruments and methods. The Glasgow Coma Scale, which measures your mental state, is the most typical tool for determining whether you have had a head injury. The doctor will also check for any bruising, swelling, or bleeding that might be clear symptoms of trauma from the vehicle accident. A CT scan could additionally help doctors figure out if someone has a brain injury after a car accident. A CT scan can give your doctor precise pictures of the brain that they can use to accurately identify head injuries sustained in auto accidents. In addition, your doctor will be able to decide on the best course of treatment for you once they have diagnosed your head injury.

Head Injury Treatment Following a Car Accident

Available head injury treatments will depend on the type and severity of brain injury sustained. The following treatment approaches are frequently used, depending on whether you have experienced a mild, moderate, or severe brain injury.


Rest is essential for promoting your healing and rehabilitation after a head injury sustained in an automobile accident. For the brain to resume normal functioning, it requires time and rest. In addition, resting can assist you in reducing cognitive activity and mental stress. Following a concussion, doctors typically advise resting for 24 to 72 hours and avoiding routine activities like work, school, and exercise.


A head injury may not immediately present with symptoms. If you’ve sustained a head injury, you might not have much recollection of the accident either. Therefore, it’s crucial to have someone nearby the first several days after the accident to watch you. Ask a trusted friend or family member to keep an eye out for signs you might not be as aware of, such as changes in mood or cognition, and to observe.

Management of Pain

A head injury from a car collision could result in headaches and soreness. Your doctor might suggest a particular drug to treat the pain or at-home treatments to relieve your symptoms. However, before taking painkillers, consult your doctor first because some may raise your risk of bleeding.

Symptom Control

Discuss any additional symptoms you’ve been having with your doctor, as well as any new ones that may have appeared. Additionally, symptoms could worsen over time, necessitating follow-up care from your auto accident doctor. For example, speak with your doctor if you experience difficulty sleeping, a loss of taste or smell, or any visual changes like double or fuzzy vision.


After a severe brain injury, your car accident doctor might recommend anti-seizure medicine. If you recently had a brain or head injury, your chance of having seizures increases significantly. Other drugs, such as diuretics, can aid in reducing pressure buildup on the brain. However, to prevent making your brain injury worse, it’s crucial to only take medications that your doctor has prescribed.


Surgery may occasionally be required to treat a brain injury and lower the risk of long-term brain damage. For example, extracting a hematoma, fixing a skull fracture, or lowering pressure inside the skull are all examples of surgeries for brain injuries sustained in a car accident. In addition, emergency surgery for a brain injury may be required to prevent further brain damage.


After a car accident, rehabilitation can aid in your recovery of balance, coordination, strength, and brain function. Depending on the extent of the brain damage, you could need assistance regaining your voice and mobility. You can recover from a brain injury safely and efficiently after a car accident with the aid of physical therapy.

Contact Tatum & Atkinson Brain Injury Lawyers

If you have sustained a brain injury following an accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced brain injury attorney at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters.’ If another party’s negligence led to your injuries, you have the right to financial compensation for your damages. Here at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ we are passionate about fighting for just compensation on behalf of accident injury victims. Call (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.