What Is A Mild TBI Caused By A Truck Accident In North Carolina?

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What Is A Mild TBI Caused By A Truck Accident In North Carolina?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a major public health issue in the United States, impacting millions annually. These injuries vary in severity from mild to severe, affecting cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being to different extents. Mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs), commonly known as concussions, are the most frequent type. In the event of a truck accident, the risk of sustaining an MTBI is particularly high due to the significant force and impact involved.

Causes Of MTBI In Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are especially likely to cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) because of the substantial size and weight of these vehicles. When a passenger car collides with a truck, the resulting force can be immense, frequently leading to severe injuries for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.

Blunt Force Trauma

Blunt force trauma is a common cause of MTBI in truck accidents, resulting from the head striking hard surfaces within the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, dashboard or windows.

  • Impact Forces. During a collision, the force can propel passengers forward, causing the head to strike the steering wheel or dashboard, resulting in the brain colliding with the inside of the skull.
  • Windshield And Side Windows. In severe collisions, the head may strike the windshield or side windows, causing lacerations and brain jolting within the skull, leading to MTBI.
  • Seatbelt Usage. Improper or malfunctioning seatbelts can cause the head to be thrown forward or sideways, increasing the risk of blunt force trauma.


Whiplash is a frequent cause of MTBIs in truck accidents, characterized by rapid back-and-forth head motion typically observed in rear-end collisions. This movement can result in the brain striking the inside of the skull, causing injury.

  • Sudden Acceleration/Deceleration. During a truck accident, abrupt acceleration or deceleration forces can abruptly propel the head forward and then backward. This motion has the potential to stretch and tear delicate brain tissues and blood vessels.
  • Coup-Contrecoup Injury. Whiplash can lead to a coup-contrecoup injury, where the brain is harmed at the impact site (coup) and on the opposite side (contrecoup) as it rebounds within the skull. This dual impact can cause widespread brain injuries affecting multiple areas.
  • Neck Strain And Spinal Alignment. The forceful motion can strain neck muscles and alter the alignment of the cervical spine, contributing to neurological symptoms and complicating the diagnosis and treatment of MTBI.

Flying Debris

Flying debris in a truck accident can also cause MTBIs. In collisions, objects inside the vehicle can become projectiles, posing a serious risk to the occupants.

  • Loose Objects. Objects such as phones, bags, drinks, and other loose items in the vehicle can become airborne upon impact. These objects have the potential to strike the head with significant force, resulting in blunt force trauma and possible brain injury.
  • Vehicle Parts. Parts of the vehicle, such as mirrors, dashboard components, and airbags, can detach and hit the occupants. The speed and force of these components can result in significant head injuries.
  • External Debris. External objects from the road or other vehicles involved in the accident can sometimes penetrate the vehicle and injure the occupants. This occurrence is especially prevalent in multi-vehicle pile-ups or accidents where cargo trucks carry unsecured loads.

Symptoms Of MTBI

Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury can vary greatly in their nature and severity. They may not manifest immediately after an accident, sometimes appearing hours or days later. This variability can complicate diagnosis, underscoring the importance of individuals in truck accidents recognizing potential signs of MTBI.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms are typically the most immediate and identifiable signs of MTBI. These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s daily activities and overall well-being.

  • Among the most frequent symptoms, headaches can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may persist for days or weeks after the injury. They are often described as a constant, dull ache or a sharp, throbbing pain.
  • Nausea And Vomiting. The impact of the injury can induce nausea and, in some cases, vomiting. This symptom is typically transient but can be distressing and may signal a more severe injury if it continues.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded is a common complaint among individuals with MTBI. This can stem from disruption to the vestibular system or changes in blood flow to the brain.
  • Blurred Vision. Vision issues, such as blurred or double vision, are prevalent. These problems can hinder daily tasks such as reading, driving, and using digital devices.
  • Balance Problems. Difficulty in maintaining balance and coordination can arise from the injury, impacting activities such as walking, standing, and performing daily routines.

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms of MTBI can significantly affect an individual’s ability to function effectively at work, school, and in daily life, requiring careful evaluation and management.

  • Difficulty Concentrating. Individuals may struggle to focus on tasks, follow conversations or maintain engagement in activities that demand sustained attention.
  • Memory Problems. Short-term memory issues are common, with individuals finding it challenging to recall recent events, appointments or information they’ve recently encountered.
  • A sense of confusion and disorientation can make it hard to think clearly, make decisions or grasp complex situations.
  • Slowed Thinking. Cognitive processing speed may decrease, leading to delays in answering questions, processing information or completing tasks that were once routine.

Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms

Emotional and behavioral symptoms can pose significant challenges in managing MTBI, impacting not only the individual but also their relationships and overall well-being.

  • Increased irritability and frustration are common, often arising from the difficulties in managing other symptoms. This can strain relationships and complicate social interactions.
  • Mood Swings. Rapid and unpredictable shifts in mood can occur, ranging from feelings of sadness or anger to episodes of unusually heightened mood.
  • Anxiety and nervousness may intensify after an MTBI, potentially evolving into more severe anxiety disorders. These feelings can be linked to concerns about recovery and the impact of symptoms on daily life.
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in previously enjoyable activities can develop post-MTBI. Depression is a serious condition requiring appropriate treatment and support.

Importance Of Symptom Recognition And Management

Identifying the symptoms of MTBI is essential for timely intervention and effective management. Those in truck accidents should remain alert for these symptoms, even if they initially appear minor. Prompt medical assessment and suitable treatment can help minimize the effects of MTBI and facilitate a more seamless recovery process.

Diagnosis Of MTBI

Diagnosing a mild traumatic brain injury typically requires a blend of physical examination, patient history review, and, when necessary, neuroimaging.

  • Initial Assessment. Evaluation of consciousness level using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which assesses verbal, motor, and eye-opening responses.
  • Symptom Assessment. Detailed questioning about the presence and severity of symptoms.
  • While CT scans and MRIs may not always show changes in mild cases, they are used to rule out more severe injuries.

Treatment And Recovery

Recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury requires a personalized approach that addresses individual symptoms and requirements.

  • Emphasize both physical and cognitive rest to avoid strenuous activities and limit screen time, promoting symptom relief and healing.
  • Utilize pain relievers for headaches and other prescribed medications to alleviate symptoms like nausea and dizziness.
  • Physical Therapy. Participate in personalized exercise regimens aimed at enhancing balance, coordination, and strength.
  • Occupational Therapy. Focus on cognitive rehabilitation and daily living skills to enhance independence and cognitive functions.
  • Address emotional and behavioral symptoms through therapeutic techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Gradual Return To Activities. Implement a monitored plan to gradually reintegrate into normal activities and work, adjusting based on individual progress and tolerance levels.

Seek Legal Guidance For Your Truck Accident Case

If you or a loved one has been severely injured, don’t delay – call (800) 529-0804 right now for a free consultation with an expert car accident lawyer. When dealing with a stressful situation, you need a knowledgeable personal injury team to guide you through the recovery process. Contact Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC right away! There is no obligation, and it will not cost you anything to learn about your legal possibilities for pursuing compensation.


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