Cuts, bruises, broken bones and brain injuries are all common in car accidents. Cuts, bruises and broken bones, however, are something that will eventually heal.
Brain injuries are different. If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury in a wreck, it’s important to understand exactly what makes this kind of injury unique. Whether the injury seems relatively mild, like a concussion, or something more severe, this kind of wound has the potential for life-long consequences.
Unlike your bones and skin, your brain cannot heal itself
Most of the cells in your body continue to divide and renew. When you slough off dead skin cells, for example, others replace them. That’s what allows scar tissue to form and wounds to heal.
That’s not how things work, however, in your brain. With small exceptions, the neurons that make up the brain’s nerve cells don’t replenish themselves. That means any injury to your brain causes neurons to be destroyed, and they cannot be replaced. This is important to remember because even a concussion – which many people think of as something minor – means permanent damage.
That’s not even necessarily the worst of your problems
One of the problems that people encounter with brain injuries is that the full effects may not be readily apparent right away.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, the injury may seem like it’s little more than a bump on the head. However, cerebral edema (swelling) can cause elevated intracranial pressure to form and actually block blood and other fluids from getting where they need to go in your brain – and that can accelerate the death of more brain cells.
In short, there’s really no such thing as a minor brain injury, because cellular death has happened. That’s what makes it so very important to fully understand your right to compensation for your losses.