What Kinds of Brain Trauma Are Caused by Car Accidents?

What Kinds of Brain Trauma Are Caused by Car Accidents?Being involved in a car accident in San Antonio is devastating—and it can have serious consequences that can alter the course of your life forever: a brain injury. Car accidents are actually a leading cause of traumatic brain injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that car accidents accounted for about 17% of all traumatic brain injury-related deaths from 2018-2019. Even if a victim of an accident survives, the impact of these injuries can be profound. From cognitive and emotional changes to physical limitations, brain trauma can affect every aspect of a person’s life, leading to long-term disabilities, financial strain, and emotional distress. If you or a loved one have experienced a brain injury due to a car accident, it’s crucial to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to you. Then, contact an experienced San Antonio traumatic brain injury attorney for more guidance.

How car accidents can injure the brain

A blow to the head or the head violently and unexpectedly moving back and forth can injure the brain’s soft tissue—and it is not uncommon to happen during a car accident. Even with the protection of seat belts and airbags, the impact of the crash can cause some major damage to the head and the brain. While brain injuries can happen many different ways, car accident victims can commonly get injured by:

  • Blows to the head from an airbag
  • Hitting their heads on windows or the dashboard
  • Knocking heads with another passenger
  • Rapid acceleration or deceleration of the vehicle, causing their brains to hit the sides of their skulls

Different types of brain injuries that can result from car accidents

Brain injuries are one of the most serious consequences of a car accident. Unlike cuts and bruises or broken bones, there are very limited ways to help heal the brain. This type of trauma can range from minor concussions to severe and life-changing injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The severity of a brain injury often depends on the type of impact sustained during the accident. There are various types of brain injuries that can occur as a result of a car accident, and each has its unique symptoms and effects. It’s important for medical professionals to recognize these symptoms quickly and intervene in order to prevent as much permanent damage as possible.


A concussion is a common type of brain injury that can occur during a car accident. It happens when the head experiences a sudden force that causes the brain to move quickly within the skull. However, the “mildness” should not be dismissed. Concussions can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and memory problems. In some cases, the symptoms may be severe and last for weeks or even months. People can experience memory problems, depression, or other cognitive issues for months or longer.


Contusions are another type of brain injury, but they happen when the brain collides with the skull, causing bleeding and bruising. Contusions can cause a range of symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and memory problems. Although contusions can resolve naturally, they have the potential to result in more severe consequences, such as cerebral hemorrhage and the formation of blood clots. In severe cases, they can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)

A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a severe type of brain injury that can occur when the brain is shaken or twisted inside the skull, causing the nerve fibers to tear. DAI can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as a coma, vegetative state, and cognitive impairments. In some cases, the symptoms may be permanent.

Coup-contrecoup injury

A coup-contrecoup injury is a type of brain injury that occurs when the brain moves back and forth inside the skull, hitting the front and back of the skull. This can cause two contusions, one at the site of impact and one on the opposite side of the brain. Coup-contrecoup injuries can cause a range of symptoms, such as confusion, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. In some cases, close monitoring and surgery is required to relieve pressure inside the brain. One recent study found that the outcome after six months was only favorable in 48% of cases.

Penetration injury

A penetration injury is a type of brain injury that occurs when a foreign object, such as a piece of metal or glass, enters the brain. Penetration injuries can cause a range of symptoms, such as severe headaches, seizures, and paralysis. They can be life-threatening, and those who survive these injuries will often have their lives changed forever. If you have suffered a brain penetration injury due to a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention right away to increase your chances of survival.

Seeking medical attention is important

After a San Antonio car accident, seeking medical attention is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Time is of the essence. Even if you feel fine or have minor injuries, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional. Many car accident injuries, including brain injuries, may not show symptoms immediately, and delaying medical attention can lead to complications or worsen existing injuries. Seeking medical attention after a car accident can also help document the extent of your injuries, which can be important for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

If you have suffered any type of brain trauma in a car accident, it’s essential to seek the help of an experienced attorney who specializes in brain injury cases. The Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C., can assist you in navigating the complex legal system and help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our experienced San Antonio attorneys can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and help you avoid making costly mistakes that could negatively impact your case. We understand the legal process and can help you build a strong case, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation. Contact us today by calling our San Antonio office or submitting our contact form to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards justice.