Race car drivers, like football players, have reason to be concerned about brain injuries. As discussed in an article in Road and Track, race car drivers are susceptible to concussions. Sadly, as the article notes, a history of concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), an untreatable brain disease characterized by toxic proteins accumulated in the brain.
A recent Fox News article points out that concussions do not only happen when you hit your head. They can also occur when the head is shaken violently. Almost all brain injury sustained in car racing happens in collisions when head movement is violent enough to cause the brain to hit against the inside of the skull.
NASCAR drivers have protection in their vehicles far greater than that of the typical motorist. NASCAR requires the use of a head and neck support device in which barrier walls are constructed out of crushable material and seat belt restraints keep the driver’s entire body pinned to the seat.
According to the Fox News article, even with the high-tech safety equipment required for racing, NASCAR drivers are concerned about concussions. In addition to leading to potential health consequences such as CTE, a concussion slows physical and mental reaction time, and when a driver with a concussion is racing, it puts other drivers at risk along with the driver who suffered the concussion.
Given the high-tech safety equipment race car drivers have available to protect them, if they are concerned about brain injuries, a person involved in a car accident in a typical passenger vehicle with standard equipment should have cause for concern as well.
Brain Injuries in Car Accidents
According to the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina (BIASC), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 in South Carolina. The association also reports that 61,000 people in our state are living with a TBI-related disability.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that an estimated 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in 52,000 deaths, 275,000 hospitalizations and 1,365,000 emergency room visits. The CDC also states that motor vehicle accidents are the external cause of 17.3 percent of all TBIs.
Brain injuries in traffic collision can happen in several ways:
- Blunt trauma when the skull strikes an object such as the windshield or the steering wheel
- Bruising or hemorrhaging of the brain when the force of the collision causes the brain to hit the inside of skull
- Penetrating injuries, when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain.
Traumatic brain injury can range in severity from mild concussion, in which the symptoms may last only a few days, to severe TBI, with lifelong debilitating effects on the victim. Severe TBI can affect the victim’s physical and cognitive abilities and have drastic social and emotional consequences in the victim’s life.
Due to concerns about possible brain injury, it is important to get medical treatment promptly after a car accident – even if you do not believe that you have been seriously injured.
As the Mayo Clinic points out, the symptoms of concussion can be subtle and may not show up right away. Some symptoms can be delayed for hours or even days after the injury. The Mayo Clinic advises that you seek emergency medical attention after a head injury with symptoms such as:
- Unconsciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
- Headache that worsens over time
- Stumbling or clumsiness
- Disorientation or confusion
- Behavior changes, such as irritability
- Slurred speech or other changes in speech.
Our Attorneys Help South Carolina Brain Injury Victims
If you have suffered a brain injury in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses caused by your brain injury.
Our car accident attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm have more than 75 years of combined experience. We help injured people in Florence, Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina pursue the compensation they deserve after serious injuries in car accidents caused by the negligence of others.
Contact our firm for the answers you need and to put our skills, dedication and experience on your side.