Brain injury can lead to PTSD and depression

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

During an accident, head trauma can lead to brain injury. This may happen if an occupant of a vehicle hits their head against the window, or fails to wear a seatbelt and is projected through the windshield. Even airbags have been known to cause head trauma in California. Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles also face a very high risk of brain injury. Victims and their families often prepare for the physical aspects of this, but what about the psychological effects?

According to CNN, even mild traumatic brain injury can result in mental health problems. These problems arise not from the injury itself, but from the circumstances around the injury. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are two of the most common mental health problems victims face. In fact, one study found that 21.2% of hospital patients with mild traumatic brain injury suffered from PTSD and depression after the injury, compared to just 12.1% of patients suffering from injuries that did not involve the head.

Motor vehicle collision accounted for 61.8% of these brain injuries and there is no denying that catastrophic motor vehicle accidents are terrifying. While not specifically mentioned by CNN, after a car crash, some people become terrified of certain vehicles, making specific turns, traveling through a particular area or even driving altogether.

As some of the most expensive injuries to treat, adding mental health problems to the aftermath of head trauma only adds to medical bills. This can cause even greater levels of stress for victims and their families. After all, medical debt from a serious illness is one of the top reasons people fall into financial crisis, especially when insurance companies are reluctant to pay.

To help reduce the cost of treating brain injuries, Forbes notes that doctors may be able to use blood tests to predict whether or not a CT scan is needed. Even so, concussions may sometimes be undetectable by blood tests, making an expensive CT scan necessary in virtually all cases of head trauma in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident.

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