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Head, Neck and Brain Injuries

Injury Resource Center of Michigan

Accidents are the most common cause of death, disability and injury for individuals living in the United States under 40 years of age. The head, brain and neck are common sites of major injuries in accidents. About one-half of all head injuries in adults and about one-third of those in children result from motor vehicle accidents. In 75 percent of fatal vehicular accidents, the brain suffers traumatic injury. Trauma to the head can generate injuries to the skull, face, scalp and spinal cord and may product post-traumatic epilepsy. Skull fractures are a common injury in motor vehicle accidents, especially in motorcycle accidents. If the head strikes an object or is struck by an object, a skull fracture is likely to occur. The fracture may be accompanied by a contusion (bruising) of the brain or bleeding inside the brain.

In Michigan motor vehicle accidents, acceleration-deceleration injuries are a common cause of head, neck and brain injuries. These type of injuries occur when a vehicle, traveling at high speeds, crashes into another object and then comes to an abrupt stop. The passenger’s brain continues to travel at a high speed until it comes to an rapid stop when it collides with the inner wall of the skull. Rebound forces within the brain can produce significant and wide-spread damage in the various regions of the brain. Head injury in a motor vehicle accident may involve a combination injury; a concussive-compressive injury, from the head hitting the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle, as well as injuries sustained from the forces of acceleration-deceleration. Secondary effects of brain injury, swelling in the brain, respiratory problems and infection can further exacerbate the condition.

Whiplash injuries may develop when the neck is forced beyond its natural range of motion. Most often, whiplash occurs in car accidents when the impact from the crash jolts the passenger’s head in a series of whip-like motions that can tear ligaments, muscles and blood vessels and cause fractures or dislocations. Strain, sprain or serious whiplash injuries can cause damage to nerves and to the spinal cord producing symptoms such as neck, arm and shoulder pain, muscle spasm, headache and vertigo. While mild cases of whiplash can be treated with rest, medications and physical therapy, severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Head or brain injuries are not always identified by an MRI or x-ray. Frequently, a family member or friend notices that something is wrong with the way someone is thinking or acting.

An accident victim who survives a significant head, brain or neck injury often faces life-long disabilities, such as mental disturbances, speech disorders, attention problems, hearing and vision defects, and neurological disorders. Severe head, neck and brain injuries place enormous emotional and financial burdens on the victim and his or her family. The Michigan accident and injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik understand the impact of these burdens and can help you face a difficult future. If you, a friend or loved one suffers from a serious injury, please complete the online form or call 1 (888) 905-4632 for a free case evaluation.

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