Sometimes California drivers walk away from motor vehicle accidents with barely a scratch. Sometimes, they are not so lucky and end up suffering from catastrophic injuries.
One injury that can be life changing, depending on its severity, is brain trauma. Experts label even mild concussions traumatic brain injuries, and doctors encourage patients to give them the attention any other serious wound would receive.
Effects of a catastrophic brain injury
If a TBI is not simply a mild concussion, however, its effects on the injured can be quite severe. The Family Caregiver Alliance lists some of the most challenging effects of brain trauma.
These symptoms include physical issues like changes in sleep patterns, difficulty with muscle coordination and general weakness. Behavioral effects might appear as extreme shifts in mood or out-of-control emotions. Changes in cognitive ability could result in reduced judgment, problems with memory and difficulty concentrating.
Sometimes a brain injury is so severe, the injured seems like a different person following the incident. In these extreme cases, he or she may need a caregiver at all times. The Family Caregiver Alliance points out how such an injury affects entire families, causing intense stress for both the injured and those attempting to offer care.
Motor vehicle accidents and TBI
It may be hard to imagine this portrait of a family undergoing excessive strain as a result of a car accident, but according to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents were the 3rd leading cause of TBI in 2013 (the latest available statistics). The CDC considered TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and fatalities.
"For adolescents and persons 15-44 years of age," car accidents jumped to the top spot among causes of TBI-related hospitalizations.