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Do You Have to Hit Your Head to Get a Concussion From a Car Accident?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of concussions in the United States. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head or the violent, forceful shaking of the body.

You do not have to actually hit your head to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident. The force alone can be enough. The Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak provide an overview of concussions and car accident claims in California.

The Force of a Car Accident Can Cause a Concussion — Even Without a Blow to the Head

A form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a concussion, occurs when the head is jolted with enough force to cause the brain to bounce against the skull. Often, a concussion is the consequence of a blow to the head. Though, actual physical contact with the head is by no means required for a concussion. When the brain hits the skull, the brain can bruise and become injured. If axons are injured in the process, this can be referred to as “axonal shearing.” The terms “coup and countercoup” (from the French) mean “blow” and “counterblow,” referring to the brain being bruised by direct impact with the skull or by moving within the skull and being injured on the opposite side of the skull from where the force or impact originated.

A car crash can put the human body under tremendous force. The impact of a collision may be enough to cause a concussion. This is particularly so if a person is violently jolted back and forth while in their seat. Do not assume that you, or a loved one, avoided a concussion simply because there was no blow to the head.

All Suspected Concussions Require Immediate Medical Attention

Suspected concussions require immediate medical attention. As brain injuries frequently occur with a delayed onset, a car accident victim may be more seriously injured than they initially appear. You should always follow up on signs of a concussion. Some potential symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Dilated pupils
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness

Medical Documentation Will Help You Pursue a Personal Injury Claim

California is a fault-based auto accident injury state. This means that a party that is responsible for causing a crash can be held liable for financial compensation to a victim who was harmed. So, you can pursue a personal injury claim directly against an at-fault driver, or another defendant, after sustaining a concussion in a collision.

Simply because you did not suffer a blow to the head does not prevent you from seeking financial compensation for your traumatic brain injury. Medical documentation, including a formal diagnosis of a concussion, can help to make the case. An individual who sustained a concussion in a car accident in California may be eligible to recover financial compensation for:

  • Emergency medical bills
  • Other medical expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological support
  • Pain and suffering
  • Long-term disfigurement and/or impairment

Call Our Oakland, CA Auto Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our Oakland, California personal injury attorneys are strong, tireless advocates for justice. You deserve full and fair financial compensation after a crash. If you or your loved one sustained a concussion in a traffic collision, we can help.

Give us a call now or reach out to us online for your no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We represent auto accident victims throughout the Bay Area, including in Oakland, San Francisco. Mountain View, San Jose, and Palo Alto.

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