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Auto accidents and falls major causes of brain injuries

Auto accidents are the cause of a significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries nationwide, including in Missouri, and are the primary cause of deaths related to TBI. While falls are the cause of most brain injuries, car accidents come a close second. Brain injuries can be suffered by means of closed head injuries or open head injuries, and they are not always immediately evident. Symptoms such as nausea, headaches, sleeping problems, paralysis and problems with motor and sensory actions often develop in days or weeks after an accident and can indicate brain trauma.

Sudden stops cause most of the brain injuries in car accidents because of the force that is exerted on the bodies of the vehicle occupants. A vehicle traveling at 40 mph when it smashes into another vehicle or stationary object typically comes to an abrupt stop. However, the bodies of the occupants continue to move forward at that speed until stopped by a safety belt, the windshield or something else. The body is then typically forced backward in a whiplash-like manner.

Not only can this cause severe problems to the spinal cord and neck, but it causes the brain to collide with the protective skull. Brain tissue can be torn or bruised, and this can lead to swelling and bleeding of the brain. That may cause life-threatening pressure. Any delay in the surgical release of the pressure may lead to life-altering consequences or even death.

Non-fatal brain injuries -- regardless of the severity -- typically necessitate ongoing medical treatment and therapy, and a victim often loses the ability to continue a profession or occupation. The financial implications can be devastating, though victims may pursue monetary relief by filing personal injury claims against the parties deemed responsible for the injuries. Sufficient evidence of negligence by the party or parties sued will be required to substantiate such claims in a Missouri civil court.

Source: braininjuryinstitute.org, "Auto Accident", Accessed on June 12, 2015

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