Driving Related Brain Injuries

James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. represents people who have suffered brain injuries because of the negligence of others. The owner and founder of the firm, James F. Humphreys, is a former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and is general counsel to the West Virginia Brain Injury Association, Inc. (WVBIA).

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of brain injuries among all age groups. They are the third leading cause of TBI related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths, accounting for 13% of such events.1 Looking just at TBI related deaths, they are also the third leading cause, accounting for 19% of such deaths in 2013.2

Teen drivers who are still developing driving skills are at special risk for driving related brain injuries. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBIs for teens aged 15 to 19.3 This statistic underlines the need to provide young drivers with quality supervised practice in a variety of driving conditions before they drive without an adult. It is also important to make sure that teens follow GDL (graduated driver licensing) requirements that keep teens out of high risk situations such as night time driving and driving with peers while they develop basic driving skills in less risky situations. Of course, teens, like other drivers, should always wear seat belts and avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Driving related brain injuries can result when the head strikes something in the car such as the steering wheel or windshield, or when an impact results from a crushed roof or from an occupant being ejected from the car. But injuries can also happen when the brain forcibly strikes the inside of the skull during a sudden stop or acceleration. “Closed head” injuries can occur even when the skull is not fractured or penetrated. Motor vehicle accidents can result in bruising, bleeding and tearing of nerve fibers in the brain.

Brain injuries related to motor vehicle accidents can be subtle and may not be diagnosed right away. You should consult a qualified medical professional if you experience changes in vision, short term memory loss, difficulty in concentrating or trouble sleeping following an automobile accident. You should also be careful not to settle with the other driver’s insurance company before you know the nature and full extent of your injuries.
Experienced legal counsel can help you obtain fair compensation for your losses, both past and future. Among other things, a good attorney can help you locate sources of income that you may not think of. For example, the manufacturer of your vehicle may bear some liability for your injuries if a vehicle defect contributed to causing the accident, or if your injuries were more serious than they should have been because your car was not “crashworthy.”

If you or a loved one has been injured through the wrongful conduct of someone else, contact James F. Humphreys for a free initial consultation at 304-881-0652 (local) or 877-341-2595 (toll free). You may also contact us through our website, www.jfhumphreys.com.

 

1 CDC, “Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion,”  https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbrain injury/get_the_facts.html (last updated 4/27/17)
Id.
“Traumatic Brain Injuries In Teen Crashes-Teen Driver Source,” https://www.teendriversource.org/…/traumatic_brain_injuries_teen_crashes/researcher (2/15/16)

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