Car accidents and traumatic brain injury

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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One of the consequences of being in a car accident in California, and elsewhere, is brain injury. Whether from a direct blow to the head from the steering wheel or window, or from whiplash, head trauma can range from mild to serious. Victims should be aware of some of the symptoms so they can get medical help right away.

According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries from motor vehicle accidents result in the third-most frequent visits to emergency rooms, with falls and getting hit by an object being the two leading causes. Motor vehicle crashes are also the third-leading cause of deaths due to head injuries. The people most affected are those between the ages of 15 and 44.

According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah, there are different types of brain injuries, and they vary in severity. One common type is a concussion, and this can be caused by whiplash from an accident. Symptoms related to concussions may include:

  • A dazed feeling
  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Confusion
  • Headaches

A concussion can take up to a few years to heal, depending on how severe the damage is. Treatment varies from rest to intense rehabilitation.

A diffuse axonal injury can also be caused by a car accident. This occurs when structures of the brain tear due to movement of the skull. As a result, nerve tissue tears which leads to a release of brain chemicals and a disruption to the brain’s communication. Symptoms may include:

  • Confusion that lasts for weeks
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Long-term behavioral and cognitive impairments

This type of injury is often more severe and can lead to coma, permanent brain damage or even death. 




Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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Vehicle Accidents

There are two things to establish in any motor vehicle accident case: the cause of the accident (fault) and the full cost of the injuries and losses. As we prepare your case, we will investigate both of these.


& Serious Injuries

People suffering from a brain injury, spinal cord injury or other severe injury will require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy and other long-term care.


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Claims related to sports and recreation injuries can be complicated. These cases often include issues involving waivers and the “assumption of risk” defense.


& Spine Injuries

When you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life changes dramatically. Even mild TBIs can lead to years of recovery and rehabilitation.


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The personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP have more than 100 years of combined experience guiding clients through the legal process.

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