A brain injury typically occurs when a head is struck by a moving object in a collision or hits the dashboard at full force when a car is rear-ended. The most common type of injury is bruising of the brain. Collisions of a variety of speeds can cause the brain to hit the front part of the skull, then move back and hit the back part. The impact may cause the blood vessels in the brain to tear and blood to be released into different areas of the brain, causing excessive bruising. Areas of the brain that control critical bodily functions like heartbeat and breathing may be affected. Sometimes the injured person may not experience these effects right away, the consequences may appear hours after the accident, and if the bleeding is very extensive, a person may even go into a coma.
Car accidents can cause both open and closed head injuries. An open head injury is the one in which the skull gets fractured and the brain is directly impacted. These types of injuries may seem more serious than closed head injuries, where there is no damage to the skull. However, in a closed head injury, the brain is shaken and the pressure inside the skull builds up, which often leads to serious damage to brain tissue.
Traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents can cause lifelong irreversible consequences, such as loss of coordination, paralysis, sensory problems, coma, and even death. Cognitive abilities may also be severely impacted - brain injury survivors can experience permanent memory loss, difficulty reasoning and inability to process information. Personality changes are also common in accident victims, as they often suffer from increased anxiety and irritability, which may affect their social skills and damage personal relationships.