Can Whiplash Cause a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Whiplash and Traumatic Brain InjuriesWhiplash is a type of injury that occurs when the neck moves back and forth very quickly. Often considered a minor injury that heals within a few months, severe whiplash can lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI). If you are experiencing neck pain after a car accident and dismissing it as something small or minor, it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to rule out traumatic brain injury..

How do you get a traumatic brain injury from whiplash?

Many people are surprised to learn that they can get a traumatic brain injury from whiplash, although  it is actually fairly  common when the head moves quickly  back and forth. Therefore, if someone is rear-ended at high speeds, the quick and very forceful movement of the head can cause the brain to slam into the hard and bony skull, causing serious bruising, tearing, bleeding, and at times, traumatic brain injury.

Concussions are one of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries that occur from whiplash, along with contusions, coup-contrecoup brain injuries, and diffuse axonal injuries. When any of these injuries occur, the individual may suffer memory loss, severe headaches, vision problems, confusion, irritability, coma, and even death.

Are traumatic brain injuries easily noticeable after a car accident?

If you have been in a car accident and think that you are fine, remember that it can take several hours or days for symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to appear. Even if you only have slight pain in your neck and no symptoms of traumatic brain injury, you should still get evaluated by a licensed healthcare provider immediately. Many times, traumatic brain injuries are unnoticeable and by the time symptoms emerge, you waited too long and have permanent damage to some of your brain cells.

Can other types of accidents cause whiplash that leads to a traumatic brain injury?

Besides car accidents, there are other types of accidents that can cause your neck and head to jerk forward and backward at a rapid rate, leading to traumatic brain injury. These include:

It is important to understand that you do not have to actually hit your head on an object to experience a traumatic brain injury; the rapid jerking movement that occurs with whiplash is enough to cause a TBI.

What type of effects may arise from a traumatic brain injury that occurred as a result of whiplash?

Many effects may arise from traumatic brain injury that occurred due to whiplash. Here are six effects of traumatic brain injury:

  1. Cognitive issues: One of the most common effects of traumatic brain injury is cognitive issues that cause issues comprehending information, thinking clearly, learning and retaining information, and communicating.
  2. Emotional problems: Another common effect that individuals with traumatic brain injuries experience is emotional problems that led them to cry more, feel extreme anger, experience depression, and become very nervous or anxious.
  3. Sensory changes: Traumatic brain injury can cause an individual to experience sensory changes like hearing problems, vision issues, and changes in how things feel to touch.
  4. Balancing difficulties: Traumatic brain injuries sometimes result in difficulty with balance and coordination due to weakened muscles, which in turn can change your daily routine and activities.
  5. Sleep challenges: While sleep challenges may seem minor, they actually can cause someone to develop sleep apnea, insomnia, or extreme fatigue, which can affect mood, health, and wellbeing.
  6. Increasing chances of seizures: People diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives are at more risk of seizure than those who have never experienced a traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one  in 10 individuals with traumatic brain injuries are  diagnosed with epilepsy within the first three years and are 50 times more likely to die  from a seizure.

Most traumatic brain injury patients require ongoing medical treatment and physical and occupational therapy to relearn daily tasks and deal with the effects of  their brain injury. No matter how minor your traumatic brain injury seems to be, it is crucial that you continue to follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

If you have been involved in a car accident and need legal assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to Philbrook Law Office as soon as possible. Our skilled team of car accident attorneys in Vancouver and Battle Ground, WA have a solid reputation for compassion, friendliness, and eagerness to help clients in. To schedule your free, no-obligation case review, call our office or submit our contact form today. Let us guide you through the complex legal process and help you obtain the results you need and deserve. We serve Washington and Oregon.