Car accidents can be extraordinarily violent: Tons of steel smash together, glass shatters, debris flies. And in the middle of it all is the human body, which can be injured in an almost infinite number of ways during such violence.
Perhaps the most frightening of these injuries is head trauma, which can be life-threatening and yet, at the same time, often difficult to detect. That’s why traumatic brain injury (TBI) is called the “silent injury.” There may be no blood or other visible signs of injury. Even MRI and CT scans can miss the early signs of TBI.
This lack of evidence makes it easy for insurance companies to avoid adequately compensating victims. Understanding what TBI is, how it can affect you long-term, and how to document medical care and treatment plans increases your chances of getting the compensation you need if you suffer a TBI in a Myrtle Beach SC auto accident.
SC Auto Accidents And TBI
Car accidents cause about 15 percent of traumatic brain injuries. For people ages 15-44, auto accidents are also the most common cause of TBIs that lead to hospitalization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The brain can be injured when the skull strikes an object such as a windshield, roof, or steering wheel. Even when there are no outward signs of the brain injury, the violent force of an auto accident can cause the brain to slam into the inside of the skull.
Symptoms of TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness from several seconds to hours;
- Convulsions or seizures;
- Dilation of one or both pupils;
- Draining of clear fluids from ears or nose;
- Numbness in the fingers and toes;
- Vomiting or nausea;
- A headache that doesn’t go away;
- Slurred speech;
- Aggression or agitation; or
When infants or small children suffer TBI, they are unable to articulate the symptoms they are experiencing. When a head injury is suspected in a child, adults should be on the lookout for signs of the following:
- Changes in eating habits or lack of desire to nurse;
- Unusual inability to pay attention;
- Lack of interest in playing with favorite toys;
- Incessant crying; and
- Extreme sleepiness.
Insurance Companies Fight TBI claims
Insurance companies are in business for the same reason everyone else is – to make money. They do not want to pay claims because paying claims hurts their bottom line. Because TBI does not always involve obvious, external wounds, insurance companies often try to deny claims or settle TBI cases for as little money as possible.
This can lead to a terrible injustice because brain injuries often require expensive, long-term care and rehabilitation which can include medication, mental-health care, and physical or occupational therapy.
If you have suffered a brain injury in an auto accident, you need to see a doctor immediately, and follow-up care will be needed to determine the seriousness of the injury, what kinds of long-term effects it will have, and how to best treat it.
Talk to your personal injury attorney before you speak to any insurance company representatives. Your attorney can help you make sure you have the documentation you need from reputable health-care professionals and to secure the testimony of medical experts to make the case that you need compensation for future medical treatment.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.