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Do You Have a Brain Injury After a Rear-End Crash?

Understand Your Risks and Know the Signs of Head Trauma

If you were hit from behind, you may be more seriously injured than you realize. You may have suffered a brain injury that can dramatically alter your life.

Your brain may have been damaged because the impact of a rear-end accident often forces your head to move rapidly backward and then forward. When the head snaps into an extreme backward position, the front of the brain often has a violent impact with the hard surface of the interior skull. (This type of movement is technically known as cervical hyperextension.) This impact may result in a concussive brain injury.

In the next moment, the head is thrown forward (technically known as hyperflexion). The back of the brain may strike the rear part of the interior skull.

The transfer of energy from a rear-end crash can also cause the brain to twist in the skull. Brain cells may be stretched or damaged from the unnatural movement.

After the accident, you may feel agitated and emotional, which can mask signs of a head injury. The police may not even document your injury in the Pennsylvania accident report.

Because a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a rear-end collision may not be obvious in the moments after the crash, it's critical to seek immediate medical attention.  If you delay getting proper treatment, the TBI can pose a serious threat to your quality of life.

What Happens in the Days after Suffering a Brain Injury

In the first few hours after a brain injury, you might not notice any symptoms or signs that you were hurt. You might not notice anything's wrong until the next day or even longer after the accident. After a blow to the head, the brain starts to swell, which can happen gradually over three days (and up to five days). Here are some of the symptoms you and your loved one should watch out for:

Day One

  • You are having trouble keeping your balance or you're feeling dizzy.
  • You experience a feeling of confusion or of being lost.
  • You experience over-sensitivity to light, noise or other stimulation.
  • You have a headache that doesn't seem to end.
  • You can't remember things very well.

Day Two

  • You feel nauseated.
  • You feel weak or numb.
  • You have trouble speaking or reading.
  • You have lost your energy and want to rest all the time.
  • You have trouble concentrating.

Day Three

  • You experience convulsions or seizures.
  • You are having trouble controlling your emotions (either feeling angry or upset for no apparent reason).
  • You are unable to sleep or you're sleeping more than usual.
  • You are having vision problems (blurriness).
  • You hear a ringing in your ears.
  • You have lost your sense of smell or taste.

Note: Some of these signs may surface earlier or later, depending on the nature of the head injury.

It's critical that you SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY as soon as you notice any of these signs.

How Does a Brain Injury Affect Quality of Life?

A brain injury can have a far-reaching impact on a victim's life - and the lives of the victim's loved ones. That's because when the brain gets damaged in a car wreck, information can no longer be properly transmitted. As a result, the person with the TBI may suffer behavioral, cognitive (the ability to process thoughts) and physical changes.

Behavioral Impact

Sometimes, the part of the brain that controls your emotions gets damaged in an accident. When this happens, you may have trouble controlling your behavior. You may get angry or sad for no apparent reason. The injury may make you more aggressive or irritable. Such behavioral changes could lead to getting fired from a job or may result in a divorce or breakup/strain in a relationship.

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Cognitive Impact

It goes without saying that being able to think properly is a critical life skill. If a brain injury causes problems with paying attention, concentrating, learning or having the ability to solve problems, you may have to give up a career or your education if you are in school. You may have trouble relating with others because of an inability to communicate your thoughts or follow conversations.

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Physical Impact

You may be unable to move as you did before the accident. That's because a brain injury can affect mobility. Some victims have trouble with their balance or move slowly. In some cases, a victim may need a wheelchair, cane or some other type of assistance to move from one place to another. Depending on the side of the brain that was injured, the victim may have limited mobility on one side of the body. You may experience weakness or paralysis due to the TBI. In some cases, a victim may suffer uncontrollable movement such as shakiness in the hands, which could affect the person's handwriting.

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How an Attorney Can Help

The experienced attorneys at Marcus & Mack have extensive experience helping victims of brain injuries get compensation for their losses. All of the examples outlined above could have a significant dollar value attached. For example, if you have to give up working because of the TBI, you may be entitled to obtain money for your lost wages. Even non-monetary losses such as the impact of the TBI on your relationship with your spouse may result in "damages," or compensation.

But the insurance company for the at-fault driver may try to keep payments to a minimum. They may make a lowball offer that fails to take all of the losses into account. Without experienced legal counsel, you may not be sure what to do.

That's why you need to arrange a free consultation with us at Marcus & Mack. We'll listen to you - whether you were injured or you need to speak about a loved one who was hurt. Then we will help you decide the best course of action. If we represent you, we will fight for the full compensation you deserve. We comprehensively investigate all the evidence. We work with various experts who can testify how the TBI will affect the victim's life years in the future. That's how we build strong cases.

If the insurance company is unwilling to reach a fair settlement, we might file a lawsuit and take the case before a judge and jury. But we will only do so after discussing it with you and your family.

You'll find out right away that we enjoy helping injured people. That's our job - and that's all we do. We help the injured get the compensation and closure they need and deserve.