What You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Accident in California

Traumatic brain injuries are defined as brain injuries that result from sudden trauma (i.e. impact) to the brain. Here’s everything you need to know about traumatic brain injuries after a car accident in California.

According to the Center for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of all deaths related to traumatic brain injuries. Some traumatic brain injury symptoms can appear directly following an accident, while others may appear days, weeks, or even months later. Some examples of less severe traumatic brain injuries are mild concussions, while others can lead to blood clots, amnesia, comas, or even death. If an individual experiences a traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident, they may be able to receive compensation for damages sustained.

Immediately After the Accident

The most important things to do following a motor vehicle accident are to:

  • Seek medical treatment if necessary,
  • Obtain all relevant information,
  • Notify law enforcement,
  • File an insurance claim, and
  • Report the accident to the California DMV.

After a motor vehicle accident, it is crucial to record certain types of information, such as the names, driver’s license numbers, contact information, and vehicle registrations from all involved parties, names and contact information for potential witnesses, and any photo or video footage.

However, an individual who has suffered from a traumatic brain injury may not be capable of obtaining this information themselves. Immediately following the accident, an individual should prioritize their own health and get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. While other involved parties may have obtained all of the necessary information, it is important to call law enforcement so that they can make a report. Without the report, it becomes more difficult to prove who is at fault. Additionally, law enforcement can ensure that the information for all those involved is recorded and that injured parties can be taken care of.

Filing an Insurance Claim

An individual should file a claim with their automobile insurance company as soon as possible, even if they do not believe that they are at fault. This can be done through the contact information on their insurance card, or through the company’s website. This claim will be important, not only to collect potential compensatory damages, but to ensure that any medical attention required can be properly attributed to the accident. In some cases, auto insurance companies may claim that the injuries sustained were not from the accident unless the claim is filed within a certain time frame.

Medical Treatment

Medical treatment should be sought immediately following the accident, not only because waiting may worsen the traumatic brain injury, but because waiting longer may result in your insurance company arguing that the symptoms are not a result of the accident. This is crucial, because many symptoms of traumatic brain injuries may take a long time to surface.

In order to avoid this misrepresentation, it is strongly recommended that victims of traumatic brain injuries (or any medical injuries) call an ambulance or seek treatment as soon as possible. Additionally, they should describe all injuries and symptoms in detail to medical providers so that they can document them for insurance injury claims. Even if something seems mild or unimportant, it could get worse later on. Without having reported it initially, any medical bills related to the symptom may not be covered by insurance.

Diagnostic Tests

In the emergency room after a car accident, an individual can request an X-ray, an MRI scan, or a CT scan. It is highly recommended that victims advocate for themselves and take every possible diagnostic test and receive all possible treatment, not only for their health but to make sure all sustained injuries are documented for insurance coverage.


Often following a serious car accident, insurance companies will contact their policyholder and attempt to get a statement regarding the extent of their injuries and damages. It is strongly advised that policyholders contact an attorney prior to making any kind of statement that could be used to deny compensation for longer-term damages. This could include medical bills for symptoms that surface later on or lost wages from unpaid leave. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to ensure that policyholders maximize all compensatory damages.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that individuals who sustain traumatic brain injuries from car accidents receive the compensation they deserve.

Related: Grounds to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in California

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