A traumatic brain injury is often associated with a sport like football or soccer. However, most of these injuries are the result of falls and motor vehicle accidents.

You could sustain TBI as the victim of a minor rear-end collision and need rehabilitation. What are your chances for recovery?

What happens

If you are the victim of a rear-end collision, the sudden impact could cause you to hit your head on the steering wheel or windshield. A closed traumatic brain injury may result from this kind of bump. You may not feel any symptoms right away, but hours or even days later, red flags may warn of injury. You could experience headaches, dizziness, a feeling of being off-balance, irritability, problems with memory or concentration, sleeplessness and more.

How the brain reacts

The brain has a remarkable ability to heal itself, at least partially. Once your condition has stabilized, your brain will go to work creating new pathways among healthy brain cells, or neurons. In addition, the healthy portions of your brain will begin taking on functions performed in the damaged areas, a process called plasticity.

Rehabilitation needed

Unfortunately, the brain cannot complete its work without help, which is why someone with TBI needs rehabilitation. The goals are twofold: to relearn forgotten skills and to compensate for any ongoing impairment. Following its injury, your brain still retains much of what you have learned throughout your life. The problem involves severed connections and blocked access to some of that knowledge so you cannot remember how to perform certain activities. You may have physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social or communication issues to deal with, thus the need for rehabilitation.

Next steps

A traumatic brain injury has the power to change your life in ways you never imagined. Although physical therapy will help tremendously, TBI will leave you with some kind of lifelong impairment. If you are the victim of a rear-end collision, you have a right to expect an insurance settlement. Explore your legal options. While recovering from your injury, your advocate will work on your behalf to obtain full compensation to cover your current and future medical and rehabilitation needs.