Albert Cohen

One of the most catastrophic injuries a person could suffer in an accident is a brain injury. There are different types or degrees of severity of brain injury, with the most severe being classified as Traumatic Brain Injury, also known as TBI. While there are many different ways a person can suffer a brain injury, one of the most common ways is when a pedestrian is hit by a car. As a pedestrian, a person is not protected by an airbag, seat belt, or the actual cage of a motor vehicle as is a passenger in a car. A pedestrian is fully exposed, which can create serious problems in the event of an accident with a car or other vehicle. New York state has made strides in pedestrian safety since implementing the state’s Vision Zero policy. However, statistics and reports from NYC DOT show that pedestrians are still ten times more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents than vehicle occupants. Because of this, car crash brain injuries are not only quite common here in New York, but also one of the most common types of injury claims our company sees.

Victims who suffer brain injuries after being hit by a car in a densely populated urban area such as New York City may have the right to compensation for their personal injury under local law. In New York, cyclists and pedestrians are covered by Driver’s No Fault Insurance. If a pedestrian is hit by an insured driver, the pedestrian is entitled to medical services. If the driver is uninsured or the pedestrian is injured in an accident, New York State allows the victim to claim benefits under the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Act. Although this information is easily available to the public, many do not know how or where to look for it. For example, an accident victim has 30 days to file a no-fault claim with the insurance company of the vehicle that hit the driver in order to be eligible for no-fault benefits. An experienced attorney helps clients manage these processes while making sure clients get proper care and compensation.

In addition, victims may be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and expenses, lost wages, future loss of income, loss of consortium, property damage, and other types of damage related to a car accident. With brain injury, victims may also require 24/7 home care and treatment, as well as future surgery and other medical interventions. This is because traumatic brain injuries can be serious. Therefore, victims and their families must employ an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure adequate compensation for expenses incurred and future expenses. Brain injuries can vary in symptoms and often require long-term medical supervision to monitor for possible problems. Often times, symptoms can change over time, revealing damage that may not have been discovered immediately after the injury or accident.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The CDC defines a TBI as an injury to the brain that disrupts its normal function due to a shock, impact, blow, or impact to the head. While this may not seem alarming at first, keep in mind that normal brain function controls every system in the body, including breathing, organ function, language, memory, fine and gross motor skills, and much more. A disorder of brain function can change a victim’s life significantly and sometimes irrevocably.

If a pedestrian is hit by a car, a TBI can be caused by the pedestrian being knocked to the ground, or from the car hitting the windshield or hood – or both. Damage to the brain can occur anywhere and in any structure of the brain. In the brain diagram above, you can see that there are many different structures in the brain, each with different functions. A change in the functions of these structures can lead to lifelong complications and changes.

Types of brain injuries after a car accident

Victims who suffer severe or catastrophic brain injury after a car accident should seek help from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Most types of TBIs permanently affect how a person’s brain works. This means that the person’s brain may not be able to heal and may suffer from persistent deterioration leading to further worsening of the disability.

Some of the most common brain injuries after a car accident are:

  • Concussions – Although concussions are often mentioned in connection with contact sports, that doesn’t mean the concussions are mild or frequent. In fact, a concussion is a very serious brain injury. Studies show that many sports, professional and recreational sports traditionally do poorly job protecting athletes from concussions. Even a concussion can cause permanent brain damage. Permanent brain injury can lead to debilitating headaches, sensitivity to light, and persistent problems with cognition. Concussions are dangerous because not only can they cause a physical jolt or shock in the brain, but they can also cause chemical changes in the brain that can lead to serious injury. Even “mild” concussions can cause permanent damage, although there really is no such thing as a mild concussion.
  • Coup-contrecoup TBIs – Most people have heard of whiplash when the head lashes back and forth like a whip in an impact (hence the name). However, this type of impact can also cause the brain to whip back and forth. This is because the brain sits in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the skull. Just a single powerful impact can move the brain back and forth in the skull and cause it to hit the inside of the skull. This can lead to serious effects on opposite ends of the brain, causing life-threatening swelling. Victims can take permanent damage even in a low-speed collision if the impact causes whiplash.
  • Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury – This type of TBI is incredibly disruptive as it actually shreds and rips the brain tissue, resulting in serious permanent injury. This is due to the force of an impact that physically tears and damages the tissue from the violent impact. Connections and structures in the brain can be damaged and never repaired, resulting in debilitating injuries and permanent disabilities.
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage – When the brain bleeds it is always dangerous. Cerebral hemorrhage can increase intracranial pressure in the brain, which can cause physical damage or etch brain tissue, as blood in the brain can cause chemical changes that damage and disrupt healthy tissue.
  • What do I do if I am hit by a car and suffer a brain injury?

    If you are hit by a car, see a doctor right away, even if you are not in pain. Brain injuries don’t always appear immediately with obvious symptoms, and early detection is critical with these types of injuries. Identifying injuries and damage will help your medical team determine the best treatment plan for your specific injuries.
    After you’ve met with a doctor and diagnosed a brain injury, see a personal injury attorney who has experience with brain injury. You are helping to protect your right to compensation based on the laws of the state in which the violation occurred. They will help you ensure coverage for ongoing medical care, compensation for immediate and ongoing damage, reimbursement of lost wages and much more. Your health is important and you deserve care after an accident. An experienced attorney will handle your case so you can focus on recovering.