Blunt Force Trauma to the Head from A Car Accident

NC Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
By Kimberly BishopNovember 18, 2023,

If you or someone you care for has experienced blunt force trauma to the head from a car accident that was not your fault, read on for possible injuries/symptoms and tips for your personal injury case. 

This article is not offered as medical advice regarding blunt force head trauma. If you or someone you care for has been injured, please seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

We offer free case reviews for North Carolina car accident victims. Call us today, 919-615-3095 or start your free case review now:

What is Blunt Force Trauma to the Head? 

Blunt force trauma to the head happens when the cranium is hit by a hard object (direct blow). The type of object, speed of impact and force all dictate how severe the trauma will be.

In a car accident, the victim’s head can be hit by flying debris, the windshield, the steering wheel, window, or any hard object. While seat belts and airbags can prevent some blunt force head trauma, they cannot prevent all brain injuries. Forceful deployment of an airbag may itself cause traumatic brain injuries (via BMJ).  

Traumatic brain injury can cause concussions, contusions, hematomas, cerebral edema, skull fracture, coup-contrecoup injury, diffuse axonal injury, penetrating brain injury, hypoxia/anoxia, a Chiari malformation and even hydrocephalus (Also read Types of Brain Injuries for a discussion of injuries that you may have when there is blunt force trauma to the head). 

Blunt force head trauma is classified as mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (via NIH). 

Even a mild traumatic brain injury can cause loss of consciousness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, problems speaking, memory issues and even serious depression. With a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, symptom severity increases (via Mayo Clinic). Each part of the brain controls a different aspect of the human body and every traumatic brain injury is different.

Head trauma patients are the priority at emergency rooms due to the severe impact trauma has on our bodies. Once the patient has been stabilized, the medical provider will employ MRIs, a CT scan and x-rays to determine the extent of damage to the skull bone, blood vessels or brain tissue. 

Headaches, dizziness, slurred speech, blurry vision, memory difficulties, personality changes, loss of consciousness, nausea and death are all possible impact symptoms (Via WebMD). Symptoms may be mild to severe and may not develop immediately. Unfortunately, even mild head trauma can cause severe symptoms under the wrong conditions.

Obtaining medical treatment immediately after your car accident and continuing to receive ongoing treatment for your injury is imperative. Severe head injury can leave a victim with the need for long term brain injury rehabilitation due to altered brain function. Be sure to tell your doctor about all your or your loved one’s symptoms, even those that seem sporadic.

Recovering from blunt force trauma to the head can be a long, emotionally draining and expensive journey for the patient and their family. Neurologists, physical therapists and speech therapists are just a few of the medical professionals that you may need to see at a trauma center. In addition, blunt force trauma can result in disability which may need lifetime care.

Traumatic Brain Injury and SSA Disability Insurance

Blunt Force Head Trauma Risk Factors 

Not wearing a seatbelt, lateral car accident impact, airbag non-deployment and being under 40 years old are risk factors for sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a crash (Via 

Also, certain types of motor vehicle accidents come with a higher chance of blunt force trauma head injury. Motorcyclists, car vs. tractor-trailer truck and pedestrian vs. car all increase the risk of a victim sustaining a head injury. Unfortunately, in these types of accidents, the victim’s skull does not have as much protection from a blunt object.

According to NIH, the majority of serious traumatic injuries are due to blunt trauma from motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian injuries.

In North Carolina, motorcycle helmets are mandatory. According to NHTSA, helmeted motorcycle riders have up to a 73% lower fatality rate than unhelmeted riders. Also, motorcycle helmets are effective in preventing brain injuries as unhelmeted motorcyclists are over 3x as likely to suffer a brain injury. 

When involved in an accident, a car offers little protection against the massive weight and force of a tractor-trailer truck. A large truck can weigh 20-30 times as much as a passenger car and sit higher off the road leaving space for a car to be trapped underneath (via IIHS). Car accidents with semis can result in severe traumatic brain injuries. 

Pedestrians with traumatic brain injuries have a higher mortality rate than motor vehicle victims (via NIH). Depending on the speed and type of impact, a pedestrian can be left with devastating brain injuries from a skull fracture to being in a permanent vegetative state to death. In severe cases, the victim may never be the same. 

Do you need a Brain Injury Attorney?

If you or someone you care for has sustained blunt force trauma to the head from a vehicle accident that was not your fault, the road to recovery can be long. Medical bills (past and future), lost income (past and future) and recovery hurdles can leave an injury victim and their family reeling. 

The choice to seek legal counsel can allow a family to focus on the recovery of their loved one. 

Gathering medical evidence for trauma patients, establishing the costs of present and future medical care, calculating pain and suffering, and negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company are all integral parts of your personal injury case that a NC Personal Injury Lawyer can help you with.

Unfortunately, blunt force trauma to the head comes with an increased risk of death. If your loved one has passed away due to the negligence of another, you should contact a NC Wrongful Death Lawyer. 

The Bishop Law Firm represents car victims of auto accidents in RaleighCaryDurhamRocky MountWilsonFayettevilleSmithfieldLouisburgChapel HillRoanoke RapidsApex, GreensboroWinston-SalemGreenville and more! 

We look forward to working with you and wish you a speedy recovery. 

Call us today for a free case review at (919) 615-3095 or start your free case review now. 

Also read North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

Also read Traumatic Brain Injury and Social Security Disability

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