Numerous Kentucky Motor Vehicle Accidents Involve Traumatic Brain Injuries

Kentucky Accidents and Traumatic Brain InjuriesTraumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most significant injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). A TBI can be caused by direct impact to the head, rapid deceleration causing the brain to hit against the skull, or when flying debris penetrates the skull.

The 2021 Kentucky Injury Indicators report released in January 2023 found that of the 22,393 injury-related inpatient hospitalizations among Kentucky residents in 2021, more than 3,000 were related to TBI. Pedestrian-involved accidents, as well as collisions involving motor vehicles and bicycles, are the third most common cause of TBI in Kentucky right now.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that motor vehicle collisions account for more than 55.8 percent of TBI-related deaths in children aged 5-14 and nearly half (47.4 percent) of those in young adults 15-24 years old. The high likelihood of a TBI during a motor vehicle collision strongly reinforces the need to drive defensively and use all available safety precautions.

What is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury is a disturbance in normal brain function due to a blow, jolt, bump, or penetrating injury to the head. TBIs can range from mild to severe and can result in temporary or permanent impairments in cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning.

TBIs are typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on factors such as how long the victim lost consciousness, the Glasgow Coma Scale score, and the presence of post-traumatic amnesia. TBI-related damage can be confined to one area of the brain, known as a focal injury, or it can occur over a more widespread area, known as a diffuse injury. Damage may be temporary or permanent, and recovery can take an extended period of time. Recovering from a TBI can require extensive medical treatment, and the recovery process requires consistent monitoring of the brain’s condition.

The effects of TBI from car accidents

Most TBIs are considered “mild” – AKA, concussions. A concussion resulting from a car accident could take a few minutes to several months to heal. The victim may suddenly lose consciousness, or suffer a sudden altered state of consciousness or awareness, as a result of the impact. Post-concussion syndrome involves symptoms that last for weeks or longer, and this means that people suffering from a TBI must be especially cautious following the injury. There is an additional  danger involved with injuries to the head following a concussion known as “second hit” phenomenon—and can lead to permanent damage or even death in some instances.

Moderate to severe TBIs typically involve more obvious neurological deficits and can have a more profound impact on a person’s functio必利勁
ning than mild TBIs, and often require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and support to maximize recovery and quality of life. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), a single, severe TBI may lead to post-traumatic dementia (PTD). Studies examining patterns among large populations of people with TBI have found that moderate or severe TBI in early or mid-life may be associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life.

How is TBI diagnosed and treated?

TBIs require immediate evaluation by a healthcare professional with experience treating head injuries. It is critical to get in front of a medical provider as soon as possible following a suspected TBI. A neurological exam will determine motor and sensory skills and test hearing and speech, coordination and balance, mental status, and changes in mood or behavior, among other abilities.

Treatment for TBIs varies depending on the severity of the injury but may include emergency medical care, monitoring in a hospital setting, rehabilitation therapy, and medications to manage symptoms. In cases of severe TBI, surgery may be necessary to remove blood clots or reduce pressure on the brain. In treating a TBI, providers are focused on life-saving measures and helping their patients retain as much motor and sensory function as possible.

Long-term outcomes for individuals with TBIs can vary widely depending on the extent of the injury and the effectiveness of treatment and rehabilitation. Some people may experience significant recovery and regain most of their pre-injury abilities, while others may face long-term disabilities and challenges in daily functioning. Those facing prolonged issues can continue to treat with forms of physical and occupational therapy to regain some abilities over time, but the effects of TBI can also be permanent.

What type of motor vehicle accidents lead to TBI?

Any motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause TBI, particularly if there is significant force or impact to the head or body. Here are some examples:

  • Car accidents: Car accidents are a common cause of TBIs due to head trauma from impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or other parts of the vehicle during a collision. Rapid deceleration forces can also cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull.
  • Bicycle and motorcycle accidents: Bicycle and motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to TBIs because they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and can suffer head injuries from impact with other vehicles, the road surface, or roadside objects.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles are at high risk of sustaining TBIs, especially if the pedestrian’s head strikes the vehicle or the ground.
  • Truck accidents: Accidents involving large trucks or commercial vehicles can result in severe TBIs due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles.
  • Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents can lead to TBIs as occupants may be thrown around inside the vehicle or ejected from it, causing them to sustain head injuries.
  • High-Speed Collisions: High-speed collisions, whether head-on, rear-end, or side-impact crashes, can result in significant forces that increase the risk of TBIs

Preventative measures such as wearing seat belts, using child safety seats, wearing helmets (for cyclists and motorcyclists), and practicing safe driving behaviors can help reduce the risk of TBIs in motor vehicle accidents.

Did you or someone you love sustain a mild or severe TBI due to another driver’s negligence? At Wilt Injury Lawyers, our Kentucky injury attorneys will provide an honest assessment of your case and help you pursue maximum compensation. Call us in Louisville or Lexington or fill out our contact form to set up a free consultation today.