Do All Brain Injuries from Car Accidents Cause Permanent Damage?

Do All Brain Injuries from Car Accidents Cause Permanent Damage?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur any time there is a bump, jolt, or blow to the head and range in severity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2020, equating to approximately 176 TBI-related deaths daily. 

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, you are right to be concerned about brain injuries from car accidents. The CDC also found that motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. We can help you learn more about car accident head injuries, varying degrees of damage, and your legal rights following a car accident.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are multiple types of brain injuries from car accidents that fall into four main categories: concussion, diffuse axonal injury, contusion, and penetrating brain injury. The type of TBI sustained usually depends on the nature of the impact.


A concussion is generally caused by a victim’s head striking part of the vehicle like a steering wheel, door, or dashboard. Concussions can vary in severity and symptoms. The most severe can cause the victim to lose consciousness or experience bleeding and swelling of the brain.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

The forceful impact from a vehicle collision can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull. This type of impact can damage brain structure and nerve tissue, which may disrupt the way the brain communicates with other parts of the body. A diffuse axonal injury can lead to permanent brain damage, a coma, or even death.


Like other parts of the body, the brain can bruise. Car accident head injuries that involve direct impact to the head may cause a contusion. The seriousness of this type of injury is often related to its size. A large brain bruise could cause nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, and dizziness. In some cases, a contusion may need to be surgically removed.

Penetrating Brain Injury

This type of TBI involves an open head wound and can be very serious. Objects from inside or outside the car like glass or parts of the vehicle penetrating the skull could impact motor function and ability to communicate normally, or at all.

What Is a Non-Traumatic Brain Injury?

A non-traumatic brain injury does not involve impact to the head. These typically involve oxygen deprivation or illness. They are rare in car accidents unless there is some form of chemical exposure or near-drowning. Metabolic disorders, aneurysms, and cardiac arrest are considered non-traumatic brain injuries.

Can Brain Damage Be Reversed?

The brain is an organ that we do not fully understand. Once brain cells are damaged or destroyed, most studies suggest that they do not regenerate. Recovery from brain damage after a car accident is possible in some cases depending on a number of factors, including the effects of the damage, the age of the accident victim, and care following the injury. Rate of recovery also has a lot of variables. In the majority of cases, serious car accident head injuries will have lasting impacts. 

It is important to receive an evaluation from a medical professional any time you are in a serious car accident. TBI symptoms may seem like nothing, but they can have a serious impact if not properly diagnosed. Even mild TBI should be monitored. In many cases, a doctor will provide some sort of direction of care to ensure you are doing what you can to recover. This could consist of medication, supplements, dietary changes, and more depending on your circumstances.

Can I Be Compensated for Brain Injuries From Car Accidents?

Brain damage after a car accident can be life-changing. If you or a loved one was in a car accident that occurred because of someone else’s negligent action or inaction, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Every accident is different, but in most cases, accident victims may receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. It is important to understand the full value of your claim before accepting any insurance settlement offer. Future expenses should also be taken into consideration, especially if the injury requires long term care, in-home care, or affects employment.

You may also receive compensation for the impact to your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. This can include non-economic damages like pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress, and more. Your attorney can help you understand the full value of your claim and negotiate on your behalf.

Contact Us

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Flint Cooper understand that learning to cope with brain injuries from car accidents can be scary and frustrating. We are here to help remove some of that stress by providing compassionate legal representation. We have a diverse portfolio and decades of litigation experience. Contact us to schedule your case consultation.

About the author:

Greg Smith

Greg is a personal injury attorney at Flint Cooper, a law firm specializing in complex litigation. Greg specializes in wrongful death, semi-truck accidents, automobile collisions, maritime claims, and many other areas of personal injury. He has extensive experience litigating claims in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies.

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