Car crashes are among the leading causes of injury and death in Georgia and across the nation. While some car accidents result in minor injuries that heal quickly, others cause catastrophic injuries that have a lasting impact on the victims and their families.
What are catastrophic injuries?
Catastrophic injuries are those that impair or disable a person’s physical or mental function. They often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation and lifelong medical care.
Traumatic brain injuries
A traumatic brain injury is any injury to the brain that disrupts its normal function. TBIs can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage that can cause coma, paralysis or death.
TBIs can occur in car crashes when the head hits an object, such as the steering wheel, windshield or dashboard. TBI also occur when the brain is shaken violently inside the skull by a sudden change in speed or direction.
TBIs can affect a resident’s cognitive abilities, memory, attention, language, emotions, behavior and personality. Some of the symptoms of TBI include headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, etc.
Spinal cord injuries
A spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal cord or the nerves that branch out from it. An SCI can occur in car crashes when the spine is fractured, dislocated, compressed or severed by a blunt force or a penetrating object.
An SCI can affect a resident’s ability to move, feel and control bodily functions below the level of injury. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, some of the symptoms of an SCI include paralysis of all four limbs (quadriplegia) or the lower half of the body (paraplegia). It can also include the loss of sensation, bladder and bowel control and the loss of sexual function, among many other effects.
There is a litany of other potential catastrophic injuries that can result from a car accident. After the crash, try to make sure that you are examined by a medical professional to ensure you receive the medical treatment you need.