What Types of Car Accidents Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Car accidents are, unfortunately, very common in the United States. There are many causes that contribute to car crashes, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, and many more. While a good percentage of traffic accidents are accidental and result in minor and non-life-threatening outcomes, there are plenty that leads to more life-altering results, such as a traumatic brain injury. 

It is common to see bodily injuries such as broken bones, scrapes and bruises, but oftentimes there are more catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries. In fact, the most prevalent type of injury resulting from a car wreck is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with roughly 17.3% of car crashes leading to TBI.

Car accidents can produce a multitude of serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Learn about the different types of brain injuries you could fall victim to if involved in an auto accident.

But what is TBI? Traumatic brain injuries are defined by the CDC as an “injury that affects how the brain works”. There can be minor brain injuries that are nonfatal, or more serious cases that can result in lifelong impairment, or even fatalities. 

In 2018 alone, Louisiana saw almost 14,000 emergency room visits, 3,500 hospitalizations, and 1,000 deaths. The top two factors contributing to nonfatal traumatic brain injuries are accidental slip and falls, and auto accidents.

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious matter, often prompting immediate medical attention. Because there are different degrees of TBI severity, it’s important to ensure your safety by seeing a medical professional. Your brain function could be severely and permanently impacted by a TBI, so if you’ve experienced head trauma in a car accident, seek medical attention quickly.

How can a car crash cause a traumatic brain injury?

It's no surprise that car accidents can cause head injuries, or more specifically, traumatic brain injuries. Learn how the different types of auto accident can lead to different brain injuries.

The harder your vehicle’s impact, the worse a potential brain injury. If you are involved in a front end collision, your body reacts and is jolted at the same speed and force you were traveling before the impact. 

For example, if you are traveling at 60 MPH and collide with another vehicle, your body is jolted and impacted with 60 MPH forces. The human skull is roughly ¼-inch thick, meaning a blow to the head can cause debilitating and detrimental injuries to the brain, even while wearing a seatbelt. 

The fact of the matter is that essentially all types of car accidents can lead to traumatic brain injuries. However, there are many types of TBI that can affect different parts of the brain, and many types of car wrecks that can cause them. Here are some of the most common:

  • Roll-over accidents can lead to coup-contrecoup injuries, where multiple sides of the brain are impacted at once.
  • Sideswipes and Side-impact collisions can lead to diffuse axonal injuries, caused when the brain rotates quickly and acutely.  These can also lead to whiplash, a common neck injury, or other spinal cord injuries.
  • Head-on collisions carry greater risk for brain penetration of foreign objects, due to the greater amount of flying material coming at the victim’s head. While a brain penetration can be survived, the affected parts of the victim’s brain may never be the same.
  • Rear-end collisions can lead to concussions and other injuries when the victim’s head hits hard surfaces, like the steering wheel, after impact.

Of course, any car accident can lead to a serious TBI. If you’ve been involved in a car wreck and have symptoms like headache, changes in mood or cognition, seizures, or related symptoms, you might have a TBI. You should seek medical help immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

You should also call an experienced Louisiana brain injury lawyer to begin the process of finding remuneration for your injuries. The team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys has the experience, know-how, and drive to get you the compensation you deserve after your car accident. Call us today for the help you need to begin to heal.

Main types of Traumatic Brain Injury

There are three main categories of TBI: mild, moderate, and severe TBI. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI during a car accident, you’re probably experiencing other symptoms, such as skull fractures, neck or spine injuries, and others. Here is a list of common types of TBI and their symptoms.


Mild traumatic brain injuries include concussions, which occur due to sudden impact, momentum, or changes in movement. While mild concussions can be recovered through rest, some symptoms can last for months. 

If you find that you are experiencing concussion symptoms for months following the collision, seek medical attention immediately. Concussion symptoms include loss of consciousness, loss of memory, headache, clumsy movements, and others.


Besides concussions, other car-wreck-induced injuries include contusions. A contusion is a brain bleed, usually resulting in pain or swelling in the brain. Contusions can be serious and can lead to issues like blood clots, foggy memory, or cognition difficulty. 

Like concussions, the only way to truly know if you have a contusion is to seek medical help. A CT scan or other medical procedures will help doctors know the extent of your injury. While a contusion will usually impact the direct spot where your head made impact, sometimes injuries can result on both sides of the brain. 

Coup-Contrecoup Injury

When your brain strikes the inner skull, it may impact multiple sides of the brain in an injury referred to as a coup-contrecoup. Rollover accidents are the leading cause of coup-contrecoup injuries. 

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Another type of TBI is called a diffuse axonal injury. These injuries occur when brain structures tear from an acute head rotation. Common indications of a diffuse axonal include headaches, migraines, seizures, memory loss, or sudden collapse. 

Brain Penetration

One of the other leading TBI causes is brain penetration, which occurs when an object pierces the brain. Penetration is one of the most obvious injuries to pinpoint following a car crash. Penetration signs to look for include visible bleeding or extreme exhaustion. 

The Consequences of Moderate or Severe Brain Injuries

Moderate or severe TBI, when left untreated from a car wreck, can lead to long-term health problems, damage to the brain, or even death. Studies show that in 2018, the average lifetime cost of TBI was an estimated $76.4 billion dollars. Don’t be a statistic following a car accident: make sure to call emergency services for immediate medical attention, and then call Gordon McKernan to discuss your legal options.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys Today

A traumatic brain injury can change the course of your life, or your loved one’s, forever. In order to navigate your recovery, the last thing you should be worried about is how you’ll face your medical bills and other costs in the years to come.

You don’t need to face these burdens alone. Call a Louisiana traumatic brain injury lawyer with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today to get started on the healing process. We’ll take care of filing the necessary legal paperwork, negotiating with your insurance and the responsible party’s insurance, collecting evidence, and even arguing your case in front of a judge.

You can know that we’re dedicated to your case because we offer the G Guarantee: we don’t get paid unless we can win or settle your case.

Our team of car wreck attorneys are experienced in dealing with car accident cases involving traumatic brain injury, and are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve to help facilitate your recovery as easy and stress-free as possible. 

For past car accident clients suffering from brain injuries, we have recovered:

  • $3,330,000 for a client suffering from brain damage with left hemiparesis
  • $2,950,000 for a client suffering from severe brain damage
  • $2,700,000 for a client having to deal with brain damage and an orthopedic injury due to a road defect
  • $2,000,000 for a client getting into an accident and resulting in brain damage due to a bad curve in the road
  • $1,500,000 for a client involved in a car accident leading to head injuries
  • $1,450,000 for an infant suffering from brain damage after being in a truck accident
  • $500,000 for a client who was involved in a multi-car accident when an 18-wheeler pulled out in front of others in traffic

The car accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are ready to get you in contact with these resources, regardless of your treatment needs. We are here for you! Set up your free consultation and Get Gordon today.