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NST Law Attorney

Brain Injuries from
Car Accidents

Champions for the Injured
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NST Law Attorneys Corey Trotz and Alex Saharovich
NST Law Attorney
National Law Firm with Local Roots

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of brain injuries. Head trauma can happen easily in a collision: a rear-end accident that whips your head back and forth, or a T-bone accident that causes your head to hit the doorframe.

The damage to your skull and brain can be worse in more severe collisions, like those with a large commercial vehicle or at high speeds.

If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury from a car accident due to negligence, you know the devastating effects it can have. However, did you know you could be eligible for compensation for your injury?

A car accident lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim against the driver or entity responsible. At NST Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Table Of Contents

Common Types of Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Head trauma after a car accident may be difficult to pinpoint at first. In the minutes after a collision, your mind is racing, and your adrenaline is high. It is easy to dismiss fuzzy thoughts and headaches as feeling “shaken up” following an accident.

However, these reactions can be symptoms of a brain injury. It is essential to call 911 for emergency medical treatment, even if you think the accident was minor. The quicker your head injury is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances are at fully recovering.

Several kinds of head injuries can happen as a result of a car accident.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

One of the most common types of brain injuries to occur from a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI is a sudden injury from a blow, bump, or jolt to the head that causes damage to the brain. In data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. They are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths.

Different types of TBIs can occur depending on the severity of the motor vehicle accident.


A concussion occurs due to an impact that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth, sometimes resulting in a loss of consciousness. Other symptoms include dizziness and confusion. A concussion is categorized as a mild TBI. Repeated concussions can cause significant brain damage.


Contusions are a form of brain bruising. They can be severe and require surgery. It may occur at the impact site, or the opposite side of the impact site as a result of the brain’s movement inside the skull. A contusion can cause bleeding and swelling in the brain.
Photo of a doctor viewing a brain scan after car accident

Diffuse Axonal Injuries

Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the brain’s structures tear from an extreme brain rotation in the skull. It is considered a severe form of traumatic brain injury and can cause painful headaches or migraines, dizziness, and fatigue.

Severe diffuse axonal injuries may cause a coma or death, although doctors may treat mild conditions with prompt rehabilitation and medical oversight.


Penetration occurs when an object breaks through the skull and harms the brain. It is known for being the most severe form of a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms or indications of penetration can include significant blood loss, problems breathing, seizures, and loss of feeling in the limbs.

Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

Coup-contrecoup is an injury to both sides of the brain—the impact side (coup) and the opposite side (contrecoup). This happens when the brain experiences sudden movement from an impact, causing it to hit the opposite side of the skull from the impact site. These are common injuries from a rollover collision. It is a moderate-to-severe TBI.

Acquired Brain Injuries

Acquired brain injuries are caused by complications from other accident injuries, like
lung, rib, or chest damage. An example is an injury that restricts oxygen from reaching
your brain. Oxygen deprivation can cause your brain cells to die, reducing brain function. Extensive blood loss can also affect the brain.

These conditions are identified and treatable with prompt medical attention.

Related: How Can I Tell If a Head Injury From Car Accident Is Mild or Severe?

How Head and Brain Injuries Can Affect Your Life

Beyond the immediate pain and difficulty with cognition after a brain injury from a car accident, head injuries can have long-term effects on your overall health, independence, cognitive abilities, and even your personality.

Recovery from a head injury may take weeks or even months and, even then, isn’t guaranteed to be complete. Your life can be drastically altered from your ability to earn a living, provide for your family, or your ability to live on your own. In a study published by The BMJ, traumatic brain injuries severely disable 150-200 people per million annually.

Some people may not be able to hold the same job as they once had or may find it hard to complete school. Others may need long-term care in a facility to recover. People with significant traumatic brain injuries may need to be permanently placed in a memory care facility.

FAQs About Car Accident Brain Injuries

At NST Law, we cannot stress enough the importance of prompt medical attention after
a car accident. Even if you feel like it was minor, your health is not worth the gamble. Always call the police and EMS after a collision.

Common symptoms include dizziness, fatigue or drowsiness, problems with speech, and a headache.

Unfortunately, yes. The violent movement of the brain inside the skull can cause contusions. Parts of the brain can rip and require surgery to repair. Loss of blood and oxygen to the brain can also result in significant damage.

Whiplash is the common name for a neck injury after a car crash and is one of the most common injuries from a rear-end accident. If the force of the movement in your neck is great enough, it has the potential to cause a brain injury. If your neck is sore from a car collision, seek medical attention to rule out a possible brain injury.

Every case is different and dependent on the severity of the brain injury, which is why it is important to follow the instructions for aftercare and recovery completely. Treatments for a brain injury can include intensive care in a hospital, surgery, or rest in a stress-free atmosphere. 

Many people may also benefit from occupational and speech therapies to help them regain cognitive function lost from the injury. In some cases, people may recover in a skilled nursing facility or memory care home, where they receive personal care and medical attention 24/7.

A personal injury lawyer who is experienced in helping people after car accidents can pursue a claim for financial damages against the other party. This can include compensation for the medical treatment you need, both immediately after the accident to treat your head injury and for ongoing rehabilitation, long-term care accommodations, and nursing treatment. 

Your lawyer will build a case against the at-fault driver and file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Although no amount of money can undo the damage from a brain injury as a result from a car accident, the settlement you receive can help pay for your medical bills, rehabilitation, and care for your family if you are unable to work.

NST Law Is Here for You

If you or a loved one suffered a head injury from a car collision, let us help. Our legal team at NST Law can construct a case for a settlement and negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf.

We are with you every step of the way, from the initial filing of your claim and even into the courtroom. Contact us today, the Champions for the injured, for a free consultation about your case.

NST Law Attorneys Corey Trotz and Alex Saharovich

Contact us for a free consultation now so that we can review your case and decide how we can best help you.

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Main Memphis OFFICE

488 S. Mendenhall Road Memphis, TN 38117

Phone: 901-683-7000

Fax: 901-462-3350

Whitehaven Office

4466 Elvis Presley Blvd

Suite 143
Memphis, TN 38116

Phone: 901-300-2400
Fax: 901-462-3350

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Client Successes
Obtained in tractor-trailer accident case for a husband and wife that suffered traumatic injuries.
Recovered in car accident case against construction company in which our client suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Received for a woman injured in car accident while on the job, who sustained numerous fractures and underwent several surgeries.