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Head Injuries Following a Car Accident

Car accidents can result in a myriad of injuries, but those involving the head—traumatic brain injuries (TBI)—are especially common. In fact, CDC reports that automobile accidents are the second-leading cause of TBI hospitalizations. The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation after sustaining a head injury in a crash. Contact Pope & Howard in Atlanta, GA, to discuss your case with one of our car accident attorneys.

Five Types of Head Injuries from a Car Accident

Head injuries range in severity depending on what exactly happened to the brain. The following TBIs are ranked from least to most damaging.


When you picture a head injury, you probably think of a concussion, which occurs when the brain hits the inside of the skull due to a sudden change in movement or momentum like during a car crash. The effects of a concussion are rarely lifelong.


A contusion is a fancy word for “bruise,” but it’s more complicated when the brain is involved. Bleeding on or inside the brain can put damaging pressure on brain tissue to the point where surgery is required. Caused by a direct impact to the head, a contusion can occur in a car accident when the driver hits their head on a fixed object like the steering wheel upon impact.


French for “backlash,” a coup-contrecoup injury happens when the brain jerks suddenly within the skull, striking both sides. Exceptionally forceful car accidents such as a rollover collisions can cause this type of head injury.

Diffuse Axonal

When the head undergoes a strong rotation, the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull, causing the brain’s nerve fibers—axons—to tear. This is a diffuse axonal injury, which can take place during high-speed car accidents.


A penetrating head wound is just what it sounds like: An external object has pierced the head—an often-fatal scenario. During a car accident, items inside the vehicle become projectiles that can penetrate the skull.

Common Head Injury Symptoms

There are several symptoms you should look for when determining if you received a head injury from a car accident, including:

  • Period of unconsciousness after the accident
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty thinking or remembering
  • Slowed response times
  • Concentration difficulty
  • Coordination or balance difficulty
  • Speech difficulty
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated or uneven pupils
  • Bleeding from the ears
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Numbness in extremities

What to Do after a Head Injury from a Car Accident

Seek medical treatment ASAP if you experience any of the above symptoms. But even if you feel fine after a crash, you should still get evaluated since there may be injuries that you can’t sense yet. Leaving head injuries untreated can lead to profound, perhaps more permanent, damage, so it’s best to get checked out immediately.

Car Accident Victims Should Contact Pope & Howard in Atlanta, GA

If you or a loved one suffered a head injury from a car accident, Pope & Howard is here to help. As one of Atlanta’s leading personal injury law firms, we serve clients all over Georgia. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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Pope & Howard P.C.

945 East Paces Ferry Road
Suite 2525
Atlanta, Georgia 30326

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