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How Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Relates to Whiplash Injuries

By Matt Quick on April 16, 2018

Whiplash and traumatic brain injury (TBI)Catastrophic auto accidents can change lives forever. Even relatively minor collisions could have unexpectedly serious consequences. A rear end crash could lead to neck injuries and, as some studies have shown, they can also result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The Seattle, WA auto accident lawyers of Quick Law Group, PLLC would like to consider how whiplash and TBIs may be lined. Let’s first discuss the nature and mechanisms behind each of these injuries.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to a neck injury that affects the various structures of the neck, including the cervical spine, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. The injury is the result of the neck being violently and suddenly shifted back and forth. This can stretch out the structures of the neck, resulting in pain, stiffness, reduced neck movement, and other issues.

Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear end auto accidents given the nature of these collisions and how the forces of impact and physics cause the neck to move back then forward then back again.

About Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury refers to physical harm to the brain itself. The most well-known type of TBI is a concussion. In these kinds of brain injuries, the brain is suddenly throttled in the skull, causing it to hit the inner walls of the skull. Other kinds of traumatic brain injuries include contusions, hematomas, and diffuse axonal injury (DAI).

When a TBI occurs, it can wind up having long-term effects on your motor skills, mood, and cognition.

Understanding How the Injuries Are Connected

Given the mechanisms involved in whiplash, it does not seem surprising that brain injuries may occur in conjunction with a case of whiplash. The violent motion of the neck can cause the brain to rattle inside of the skull, resulting in some degree of brain injury.

One study noted that in MRI scans of 1,200 patients who complained of whiplash neck injuries, 23 percent of them also suffered from some form of traumatic brain injury. This number cannot be ignored.

Delayed On-Set of TBI After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Keep in mind that the symptoms of whiplash and of TBIs may not manifest themselves until 24 hours or more after the collision. Many people seek medical attention right after their car accident has happened. This is obviously the right thing to do, but it’s important to note potential symptoms of injury for the next several days after the collision has occurred.

This is all just to be on the safe side. Better to be extra-cautious when it comes to injuries of the neck and skull rather than be flippant about your health.

Symptoms and Warning Signs to Note

Be sure to watch out for the following symptoms of brain injuries:

  • Loss of consciousness following collision
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Problems with speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems with memory
  • Poor motor skills
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

If you notice any of these above issues, be sure to speak with your doctor about these matters right away. After seeking medical attention, you can then speak with an attorney. During a legal consultation, you and your lawyer can discuss possible legal actions against the negligent motorist who caused your brain injury.

Learn More About Auto Accident Injuries

For more information about your legal rights and options following motor vehicle collisions, be sure to contact the attorneys of Quick Law Group, PLLC. Our team of lawyers will provide you with all the information you need to make smart legal choices in your case.

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