Severe motor vehicle accidents on West Virginia highways and streets can cause many injuries. However, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have some of the most wide-ranging consequences, with victims’ lives often changed forever due to permanent disability.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head suffers a blunt or penetrating blow.
Sometimes a skull fracture occurs, although that factor doesn’t have to be present. For example, in motor vehicle accidents, TBIs can occur when a victim’s head hits another object, such as a dashboard, the windshield or other vehicle parts. TBIs can also occur when victims are thrown from vehicles or have their skulls crushed when portions of the cars fall on top of them or even penetrate the brain.
The severity of TBIs ranges from mild to severe. Mild TBIs include concussions, which also have various levels of severity. Moderate TBIs include a loss of consciousness for up to six hours, along with brain swelling or bleeding that can cause sleepiness. At a severe level, victims lose consciousness for more than six hours. TBIs encompass many problems, including bruises to specific brain areas, bleeding, blood clots and stretching of nerve cells. Secondary brain injuries occur when the body produces an inflammatory response to trauma. As a result, the brain can swell, causing the damage to spread.
The consequences of severe TBIs
Victims of serious accidents often suffer a mix of catastrophic injuries, including some that result in brain damage. As injuries increase in severity, the chances of remaining in the hospital for extended periods of treatment increase. These victims often need physical therapy for years or even for their lives. Some may never return to their jobs or live what most people consider a normal life.
If you or a loved one have suffered TBI or other severe injuries due to another’s negligence, you may file a claim in court asking for compensation. Victims can ask for money for medical and living expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering resulting from the accident.