How a Rear-End Collision Led to a Traumatic Brain Injury

How a Rear-End Collision Led to a Traumatic Brain Injury

Hey, have you ever wondered what a car accident at 35 miles per hour can do to your body, even if you don't hit your head? Today, we're joined by Ashley, one of our associate attorneys at Shane Smith Law, as she discusses a recent case where a client experienced a diffuse traumatic brain injury. Let's dive into the details and learn more about the surprising consequences.

Video Transcript

[0:00:02] - Hey, I'm Shane from Shane Smith Law. We're here today to talk to Ashley, one of our associate attorneys here at Shane Smith Law, about one of our recent client victories here where she was able to get a great result for one of our clients one of her clients actually. Ashley, tell us about this case.

[0:00:16] - So RG was sitting as a passenger, friend was driving her car. They're on their way home from work. They carpool, traffic slows, person up ahead trying to make a left, there's oncoming traffic, so everyone slows to a stop, except for the vehicle behind them who estimated to hit them at 35 miles an hour, which doesn't sound fast. But when you're at a dead stop and that hits you, to kind of emphasize how bad it is, her whole trunk was pushed in and the glass was completely shattered out of the back windshield.

[0:00:42] - Yeah, and that back windshield shattering doesn't happen in all cases, I'm going to say so that means a lot of that force went right into them and the body and the people inside the car. Yeah, and I think you said too she was at a dead stop. So my guess is her driver had her foot on the brake, so everything is set there. So there's nothing to defuse that energy forward. We'll let it keep moving. So sounds like a bad collision 35 miles per hour. Crushed the trunk, busted the back windshield. What were their injuries?

[0:01:11] - Results in pretty bad injuries, which is no surprise given the severity of the accident. She's taken by ambulance to the hospital, ends up following up with other doctors as well. I guess the big thing I want to discuss here. Just for people watching. She ended up with a diffuse traumatic brain injury.

[0:01:26] - So what does that mean? It's a bunch of words and brain injury. We always think of the worst case scenario, somebody who no longer feed themselves, and things like that.

[0:01:36] - And that wasn't the case here. I wanted to point it out because most people think you have to hit your head to have some sort of brain injury. That's not the case. There was no contact with her head inside the vehicle. It's just shearing of the brain and tearing of cells in the brain.

[0:01:48] - So what does that? How does it happen?

[0:01:50] - Essentially her head had to be turned in a certain direction, force her brain to essentially spin inside her skull.

[0:01:56] - Wow, sounds terrible yeah absolutely terrible.

[0:01:59] - Make it more relatable for people to understand. You know, when you think, like you said, traumatic brain injury, you think of someone needing to be fed. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. There's just different severities of it. She had several tests performed because she was having some memory issues, dizziness, classic concussion symptoms. A number of tests to confirm that and just more or less told that it was something that we're going to have to wait out a little bit. We're going to have symptoms probably for six months to a year following the accident, before they started to really subside, which they did, fortunately in this scenario. But it was something that really impacted her life at the beginning and this this wasn't an early injury. You know, if you think about how hard you have to whip your head forward to get that kind of injury to your brain, well, what happens to your neck?

[0:02:40] - Yeah, exactly.

[0:02:41] - And your lower back. So we found you know, as expected, neck and back injuries here as well a number of herniations and dysphulges in her neck, and that was one of her initial complains in the ER. Along with a headache was pain, numbness and a burning sensation going down into her right arm Class and herniation Exactly. So we got her in with an orthopedic. She started with conservative treatment. That's usually a medical protocol. You want to make sure that you know something a little bit simpler, like chiropractic or physical therapy won't do the trick to get you better, and when that fails you go for imaging typically, which is what happened here. The MRI revealed all these dysphulges and herniations and at that point her only real resolution was to get different types of injections along her neck and back to deal with the pain and you said the concussion symptoms began to subside six to nine months after the accident.

[0:03:31] - Does the brain just heal itself? Is that injury gone or is it?

[0:03:36] - No, that's permanent. When you do damage to your brain, your brain doesn't recover from that. It'll form other neural networks to get done when it needs to get done, but it's never going through that same pathway again.

[0:03:45] - So that part itself is gone. Basically, okay, where the shearing occurred, but your brain is adaptable and sort of figure stuff out.

[0:03:52] - Yeah, but it also leaves you more susceptible to, you know, concussions easier down the road or of, I guess, greater trauma.

[0:03:59] - You know worse on that scale than it might have been had that been your first down the road, like the NFL series and all the concussion studies and boxers and things like that. After you have one concussion, you're just more likely to get damaged from another one.

[0:04:11] - Exactly. I actually, unrelated to our client I had a friend who was in an accident after years of sports and then was re-rendered again a year later to the point where when she's doing certain activities, they make her wear a soft helmet now because of how bad the impact built up over time from multiple injuries. So that's, you know, that's something you want to make sure. You argue that yeah, okay, her symptoms are gone, but you've put her at a greater risk now for the rest of her life.

[0:04:33] - And you know this is a woman in her 40s, it's not like she's tapping out of life just yet you know, and the older you are, the less adaptable that neural network is on the brain to heal and overcome. And do it so 40, you get another hit.

[0:04:46] - Yeah, that's gonna be a problem.

[0:04:48] - So what kind of result were you able to get for this client?

[0:04:51] - We're able to get $125,000, which was great given you know her medical bills were probably about a fourth of that. So it was a really good settlement.

[0:05:00] - And how did she feel about it?

[0:05:02] - She was thrilled. I mean, it was above what we had originally expected. You know I always try and come in realistic with my clients. If I can get a, you know our goal is always to get a really good settlement. I'm gonna talk to them about where I realistically see it. Obviously shoot for more, and if you get more, that's great. But I always want to make sure that what we're discussing is something that's within reason, because I don't want to create unrealistic expectations either, and in her circumstance that wasn't the case at all. We were able to get a really good settlement above what we had originally discussed, so she was thrilled.

[0:05:30] - She was thrilled Great. Sounds like she was happy, sounds like she recovered Essentially, you know, fully recovered. How did she feel when you told her about the settlement numbers and the breakdown?

[0:05:40] - She was thrilled. All right, you know. The numbers we talked about were probably twice the amount we talked about we're walking away with, which is awesome.

[0:05:46] - Did she tell you what she was going to spend the money with? I need to start asking that question. No, well, it sounds like she was lucky to have a tab user lawyer and you got a great result and we're able to really talk about the brain injury and what happened to her. I know that shearing component can be unusual, that a lot of people think you have to hit your head in the accident. So it was great that you could hear those symptoms and get her to a doctor who could diagnose that injury for her. So a great job there and appreciate all that work and I know she appreciated all that hard work as well.

[0:06:17] - Yeah, but one of the best things about our job is we're always learning.

[0:06:20] - And you're able to help a lot of clients. So hit like and subscribe to see more client victories from Chainsmith Law. Click the bell for notifications and always remember Charlotte. If you're in pain, call Shane.


Related Posts
  • Understanding Concussions in Youth Soccer: Risks, Prevention, and Future Measure Read More
  • Youth Football Safety: Navigating Concussions and Head Injuries Read More
  • Choosing the Safest Car: Exploring Key Features for Injury Prevention Read More