Car Accidents: Five Head Injuries You Can Sustain

One of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents is a head injury. The severity of the injury can range in severity and have the potential to be life altering. While symptoms can show up immediately, often they can take days or even weeks to show. If you’ve sustained a head injury during a car accident, you’ll need a head & spine injury lawyer in Virginia Beach to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Here are the five types of head injuries that you can sustain during an automobile accident.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

A traumatic brain injury is a sudden injury to your brain caused by a bump, blow, jolt or other injury.  TBIs range in severity from mild, moderate or severe.  In extreme cases, a TBI can cause permanent damage to the brain, result in a coma or even death.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 30% of all injury related deaths are contributed to TBIs, with 14% of those being a direct result of car accidents.


While a concussion is often associated with a fall and/or direct hit to the head, the fact is that even a sudden, violent jerking of your head could be enough to cause a concussion. You do not need to have direct impact to the head to sustain a concussion. More often than not, patients who have endured a concussion did not lose consciousness. Symptoms can show right away but may take days or weeks to show in some cases.

Some signs and symptoms of a concussion can include feeling dazed and confused, clumsy movements, mood, behavior or personality changes, headache, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise, and more. Click HERE for the full list.


In layman’s terms, a contusion to the brain is a bruise on the brain resulting from bleeding and swelling of the brain.  The bruise may not always be visibly noticeable to the human eye.  Unlike the concussion, a brain contusion is normally a result of direct impact to the head.  A brain contusion is very common in car accidents as the body is jarred forward the head may hit the steering wheel or window.

Symptoms of a contusion can include cognitive changes, difficulty forming sentences/slurring speech, difficulty concentrating and more.

Diffuse Axonal

A diffuse axonal injury sustained during a car accident leads to tearing of brain structures and is a result of severe rotation or shaking.  For instance, when your vehicle comes to an abrupt stop upon impact, inertia dictates a body in motion will stay in motion.  Inertia means that while your body may be forcibly stopped by impact, your brain is not moving at the same speed in which your skull is.

Some signs and symptoms of a diffuse axonal injury can include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and even loss of consciousness.


Just like the name suggests, penetration is when an object penetrates your skull.  A penetrating head wound can be fatal or cause severe complications including blood loss, difficulty breathing, seizures, paralysis, coma and even death.


A coup-contrecoup is an injury to the brain sustained when the brain jerks suddenly in your head.  For instance, a vehicle in a roll-over accident will have violent and forceful jerking of the brain as the vehicle rolls.

Symptoms of coup-contrecoup can include bleeding or swelling of the brain, nausea or vomiting, moodiness, blurred vision, slurred speech, headache, loss of consciousness and more.

Car Accident Lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Barney Injury Law, leading car accident attorneys in Virginia Beach, VA.  With over a decade of experience, the Barney Injury Law team treats each client with compassion and respect and is ready to represent your legal interests with unmatched devotion and know-how. Give him a call today at (757) 965-7200.

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