While pedestrian accidents are not as common as car accidents, they can be much more catastrophic. One of the most common injuries that pedestrian accident victims suffer is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
If a loved one or you were struck by a vehicle while walking, it's important to understand the symptoms of a TBI and the long-term consequences it can have on your life. You also need to retain an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation for your injuries.
Why Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents
While pedestrians occasionally cause collisions by failing to obey traffic laws or being distracted by their cellphone or people they are walking with, the majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Although they have a duty to share the road with individuals who are walking, they often fail to see a much less visible walker or to exercise the necessary care to avoid striking them.
Common causes of these crashes include:
- Eating and drinking, talking on a cellphone, texting, and other distracted driving behaviors
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Making an unsafe left turn
- Not driving slow enough for weather conditions
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a blow or jolt to the head or penetration of the skull and brain by an object. In a pedestrian collision, the pedestrian’s head can be struck by the vehicle or hit the hard pavement. This can cause the brain to be pushed back and forth against the skull and can result in bleeding, bruising of the brain, and nerve damage.
In addition, a victim can suffer a secondary TBI injury due to the swelling of the brain in the days after the injury. In some cases, this brain damage is more severe than what was caused by the initial impact. Common types of TBI injuries include:
- Contusion or bruising of the brain
- Diffuse axonal injury, which is the damaging of nerves in the brain from the bouncing of the brain inside the skull
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding between the brain and skull
- Hematoma, which occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and blot clots develop in the brain
Symptoms of a TBI to Watch for After a Pedestrian Accident
A TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, and the symptoms can take days or weeks to develop. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ear
- Loss of coordination
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Mood swings
Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Unfortunately, the effects of a TBI can be long-term and debilitating. In the most serious cases, this can cause a victim to be unable to work and need help with their day-to-day activities. Pedestrians can suffer short-term or long-term changes to their abilities, such as:
- Thinking. Victims can suffer serious difficulties with learning, memory, concentration, reasoning, and decision making.
- Senses. A TBI can cause changes to a person’s balance, vision, hearing, and taste.
- Language. Some victims may experience devastating changes to their ability to talk, write, read, and understand words.
- Emotions. Traumatic brain injuries can cause changes to an individual’s emotions, which can cause them to exhibit aggressive behaviors, have mood swings, and experience depression and anxiety.
In addition, a serious traumatic brain injury can cause other medical complications, such as:
- Post-traumatic epilepsy
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
If you suffered a TBI in a pedestrian accident, you are entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the at-fault driver who caused your injuries under California law. It is critical to obtain all the future compensation you are entitled to in your settlement with the motorist’s insurance company so that you have the money you will need to pay for necessary medical treatment and to support you and your family if you can no longer work.
How can you ensure that you will receive a fair settlement from the insurance company? You need the help of a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer who will fight for your rights—including taking your case to a jury trial if the insurance company refuses to be reasonable. To learn how I can assist you, call my San Diego office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.