While not every car accident is fatal, that doesn’t mean everyone walks away unharmed. In 2020, 13.2% of Illinois car accidents involved some form of incapacitating but non-fatal injury. These injuries can have long-lasting or lifelong impacts when they involve the head or neurological system.
Even mild neurological injuries can be life-changing and expensive to treat. Explore common neurological issues after a car accident and how an auto accident attorney can help you recover damages from the other driver.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries are perhaps one of the most well-known injuries sustained in car crashes. In many TBIs resulting from car accidents, the force of the collision causes the brain to move within the skull, causing damage to the brain tissue. Other TBIs result from something striking the occupant in the head.
There are multiple types of brain injuries, including concussions, contusions (i.e., bruises), and brain bleeds. All can have serious or fatal consequences.
Symptoms of a TBI
The symptoms of a TBI vary depending on the severity of the injury. All TBIs, regardless of severity, can cause:
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Feeling confused
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Blurry vision
- Tinnitus (i.e., your ears are ringing)
- Momentary loss of consciousness
- Difficulty thinking, paying attention, or recalling memories
In more serious cases, you may experience the following:
- Slurring of speech
- Dilation of only one pupil
- Trouble feeling your arms or legs
- Longer loss of consciousness or difficulty staying awake
A mild traumatic brain injury may not have visible, long-lasting effects once it heals. Moderate and severe TBIs, however, can require long-term or lifelong rehabilitation and treatment to help the victim regain functionality. Some people may be able to return to their previous abilities with years of rehabilitation, while others may experience neurological disabilities for the rest of their lives.
Treating a TBI and its subsequent rehabilitation process can be a costly endeavor. A personal injury lawyer can determine if you can recover compensation for your medical expenses.
You can suffer a skull fracture if your head collides with a fixed object, like pavement or part of the vehicle. While some skull fractures are mild and don’t cause further problems, they often come alongside TBIs due to the impact to the skull. Severe skull fractures themselves can cause TBIs if the bone enters the brain tissue.
Symptoms of a Skull Fracture
Skull fractures share many of the same symptoms as TBIs. A few symptoms present in skull fractures, but not TBIs, include:
- Swelling of the head
- Misshapen skull
- Bruises under the eyes or behind the ears
- Bleeding from the eyes, nose, or ears
If a skull fracture doesn’t pose any risk of damage to the brain, there may be few to no long-term effects. However, skull fractures resulting in TBIs can have the same long-term effects as TBIs. Some skull fractures also carry a significant risk of causing brain damage and require surgical treatment to prevent it.
Spinal Cord Injury
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. The National Institute of Child Health and Development reports that 40.4% of spinal cord injuries since 2005 were the result of car accidents.
While spinal cord injuries may not seem like a neurological issue, the spine is a major part of the nervous system. Injury to the spine can result in uncomfortable or painful sensations or difficulty controlling your body.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Depending on what section of the spine is damaged and how severe the injury is, you may experience various symptoms in different parts of your body. Common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Severe back pain
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble feeling your extremities (hands, feet, etc.)
- Sudden inability to control bladder or bowels
- Partial or full paralysis
While the effects of a spinal cord injury vary depending on the severity and location of the injury, they are often lifelong. Some people may regain partial function over time, but this is not universal.
Overall, spinal cord injuries have a significantly detrimental effect on your health. The World Health Organization reports that people who suffer spine injuries typically have shorter lifespans. Spinal injuries can be life-threatening: for instance, injuring the vertebrae near the neck or upper back can partially paralyze the chest and make breathing difficult.
This injury can be life-altering in many ways: someone with a spine injury may become unable to work, engage in hobbies or activities they love, or live independently. Between the loss of their job and the potential to develop mental health conditions like depression, the idea of paying back medical expenses can be overwhelming.
Hiring an auto accident attorney is the first step towards recovering compensation for your damages.
Do I Have Recourse for an Injury Caused By a Crash?
Many people who suffer head injuries after an Illinois car accident are unaware they may be able to pursue legal recourse. However, another driver’s negligence may entitle you to compensation if you or a loved one received serious neurological damage. Illinois is an at-fault state, meaning the driver responsible for a motor vehicle accident is liable for the other driver’s damages.
It’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney with experience in auto accident litigation. An attorney can review the facts of your case, collect records relevant to the crash, and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to get you the payout you need. They can also argue that the other driver’s negligence resulted in the car accident rather than negligence on your behalf.
Nessler & Associates has extensive experience recovering damages for clients who suffered neurological injuries in car accidents in Illinois, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. Our attorneys will build a solid case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn your steps for recovering the compensation you need to help you recover and heal. Our law firm works on a contingency fee arrangement so you can get the legal representation you need to help get you a fair settlement. With our No Fee Guarantee, we don’t get paid unless your case is settled or won.