Physical Forces Involved In A Traumatic Brain Injury

Why You May Need A Brain Injury Lawyer

David Chester’s, Ohio personal injury lawyer, a summary of this article:

No doubt serious car, truck, or motorcycle accidents can be deadly. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is very common with these accidents. TBI often involves damage to different areas of the brain that generate long-term disabilities and in some cases death. The complexity of brain anatomy makes it difficult to diagnose and repair. If you are in a serious vehicle accident make sure you have a brain scan done immediately and continue to follow through with more scans as TBI tends to be progressive. Make sure to contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible to see if you qualify for a personal injury settlement. If your accident is in Ohio, contact the Chester Law Group to speak with an experienced accident lawyer and get assistance on what you need to do to protect your rights. Call us at 800-218-4243.

Article author Susan Ardizzoni Ph.D.:

When someone is involved in a serious car, truck or motorcycle accident, brain injury is a very real possibility. There are a number of forces involved in generating brain injuries. How serious your brain injury becomes depends on the type of force, direction, intensity and duration of all the forces involved during your accident.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes coup-countercoup, rotational, angular and/or translational forces. TBI includes brain damage due to impact and/or damage due to changes in acceleration. In general, forces that involve the head being impacted with something cause focal injuries whereas movement of the brain inside the skull due to changes in acceleration (inertial movements) cause diffuse brain injuries. The physics of TBI mechanisms are listed below in terms of the direction of impact and head rotations.

    • Brain damage, hematomas and/or contusions can occur directly under the position of impact and/or it can occur on the opposite side of impact. The brain actually ricochets inside the skull. Remember that the brain is floating in fluid and can move around inside somewhat. Medically this is called coup-countercoup mechanism. Coup means the brain crashed against the same side of the impact and countercoup means the brain crashed on the opposite side of the impact.If your head is hit by a moving object then you will experience a coup injury or same side injury. If your head is moving and you are hit by a stationary object you will experience countercoup or opposite side injury. In vehicle accidents it is common for your head to crash forward and then go backward in your skull creating coup-countercoup. So you can get both at the same time. This motion has an arch to it such that your head will bend forward, backward or from side to side.

      With sudden acceleration/deceleration, you can produce rotational or shear forces that affect the brain without impact. In this case the brain stem (your neck) is damaged no matter what the direction of change. This causes the brain stem to press against the spinal column. This causes concussions and hematomas in the brain.

    • Angular changes in head movement or an angular impact causes an interaction between the head and neck. The head and neck will twist. If this occurs with a high velocity acceleration and short duration, blood vessels at the surface of the brain will become injured. If angular changes occur with high velocity acceleration and long duration, you end up with fiber tract damage (axon bundles)
    • Pure translational acceleration occurs when the head moves in a straight line due to changes in acceleration. Recall the brain is floating in fluid so the brain keeps moving in a straight line and crashes into the skull which causes focal injuries at the site of the brain crash as well as internal hematomas.
    • Rotational accelerations (moving the head left and right) cause concussions (brain stem damage) and diffuse axonal injury on the surface of the brain and deep within.

Combinations of all the above impacts and changes in direction of acceleration produce every type of head injury. Many serious motorcycle accidents include all the physical mechanisms producing serious brain injury.

If you have been seriously hurt in a truck, car, or motorcycle accident and experienced a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. These types of accidents often involve long-term medical care and severe pain so you need to consider the cost of continued medical care and loss of your ability to earn wages in the future. Your brain injury lawyer will be able to provide the direction you need to be properly compensated.