Some of the most tragic accidents involve a pedestrian or bicyclist who is hit by a car. The great disparity in power, speed and weight often produces disastrous, even deadly results.
A traumatic brain injury is a common result of such an accident for all involved. One cause of these injuries is that cars are tightly packed under the hood, leaving little space for deformation of the hood when it is hit by a victim’s head. Vehicle engineers have been working on car designs to decrease the severity of head-to hood impacts using a sensor system that lifts the hood to absorb a head impact.
Brain injury can also happen when the impact of the crash throws a cyclist or pedestrian into the air, causing a crashing fall to the road, against a guardrail, a pole or other object. A cyclist can help lower the risk of a severe brain injury by wearing a helmet.
A head injury can cause death, and those who survive even the most devastating accident can be both mentally and physically impaired. The possibilities are many as no two traumatic head injuries are exactly he same.
Impairments may include confusion, memory problems and the inability to concentrate, as well as problems with reading, language, writing, or executive functions. Some people suffer changes in sensory perception. Visual impairment may include blurred vision, loss of vision, involuntary eye movements, eye muscle weakness or photo-phobia. Hearing loss, oversensitivity to sound or tinnitus may occur. There may also be a decrease in taste or sense of smell.
Other life-altering impairments include headaches, seizures, spasticity, paralysis, poor coordination, chronic pain, numbness in the extremities, loss of bowel and bladder control, nausea, sleep disorders, vomiting, and appetite changes.
People suffering from traumatic brain injuries may show depression, mood swings, dependency, irritability, aggression, or lack of inhibition. Those suffering severe forms of brain injury may never function independently again and require a lifetime of care.
A person suffering a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence often has a claim for damages, future and present, including:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment, hospitalizations, post-acute care, projected future medical expenses
- Physical, psychological, and occupational therapy
- Medical transportation costs
- Loss of income, including compensation for future lost income when the brain injury keeps the victim from working
- Physical suffering and pain
- Emotional distress, mental anguish and psychological disturbances
- Cognitive disability
- Decrease in quality of life
Because of liability issues as well as the many varied types of problems associated with traumatic brain injuries, claims for damages should be handled only by personal injury attorneys experienced in cases involving this type of catastrophic injury.
For more on traumatic brain injuries, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach car accident attorney.