Editor’s note: This is the third in our four-part blog series about head and brain injuries.

There are thousands of car accidents in Rhode Island each year. As a result of these accidents, motorists can suffer from obvious injuries such as cuts, broken bones and whiplash. However, one of the most common car accident injuries is to the brain. In fact, over half of all the reported traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are associated with a car accident.

RI Car accident victim with head and brain injuries

How is the Brain Injured in a Car Accident?

broken car windshield from car accidentAs previously discussed in this series, trauma to the brain can result in a car accident when an occupant strikes their head on an object such as the steering wheel or windshield. When this happens, the side of the brain that is opposite the impact site pulls away from the skull and is injured. Conversely, the sheer force of the accident can cause the brain to hit the bone of the skull and become injured. In other cases, the impact causes the brain to swell excessively in the skull and cause brain damage. The injury to the brain is dependent on the type of crash, how the body reacts and the area of the brain that was injured. Due to the nature of this type of injury, any part of the brain can be damaged. As a result, any bodily function or emotion that that brain controls can be effected.

What Are Some Other Factors That Contribute To Head and Brain Injuries in Car Accidents?

defective seat belt that can lead to head and brain injuriesA traumatic brain injury could be caused by a number of other factors such as defects in the vehicle. Below are a few examples:

  • Manufacturing. There can be errors when a vehicle is made. Previously, there were cases where vehicles suddenly accelerated due to a manufacturing defect. For some drivers, this sudden acceleration cause the head to violently move backward and cause injury to the brain.
  • Safety Devices. There can be defects in safety devices. For example, seatbelts can fail to restrain, airbags deploy violently and child seats can malfunction. In addition, car manufactures can also fail to issue a safety recall. Safety devices can be the cause of the brain injury or fail to prevent one.
  • Materials. Not all cars are built the same and different materials may cause a brain injury in a crash. For example, an occupant could strike their head on a window or windshield. The type of glass used in the car might not be regular glass. For instance, it can be tempered or laminated. Tempered glass is harder than regular glass because it is treated with heat or chemicals to make it stronger. Laminated glass is designed to hold together with a special coating.
  • Design. Most cars are designed with sections known as “crumple zones” that are designed to reduce energy by collapsing upon impact. The idea behind this is for the car to reduce the amount of force generated in a crash rather than being transferred directly to the occupants. However, cars are designed differently. If the design is not correct, vehicle occupants might experience the full force of the crash that would cause a traumatic brain injury. In a similar fashion, an improperly designed roof might fail to protect occupants in the event of a rollover and cause occupants to strike their heads.

Speak With a Car Accident Brain Injury Lawyer

personal-injury-lawyerIf you or someone you know has suffered a head or brain injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm charges no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. For a free no obligation case evaluation, call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online.

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