Can You Get a Brain Stem Injury from a Car Crash?

rendering of a brain and brain stem

Car accidents occur every day across the United States, resulting in a wide range of injuries. Some people walk away from a crash without a scratch while others do not get so lucky. One serious injury that may result from a car accident is a brain stem injury. Continue reading to learn about brain stem injuries and contact a San Mateo County, California motor vehicle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

What is the Brain Stem?

The brain stem is a vital part of the human brain. Located at the base of the skull, it connects the brain to the spinal cord and sends signals to the rest of the body. The brain stem is composed of three parts, called the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla oblongata. These three work together to ensure the proper operation of crucial bodily functions.

The brain stem is responsible for regulating the subconscious or automatic functions of the body. This can include breathing, swallowing, blood pressure, heart rate, consciousness, sneezing, balance, vomiting, sleep, and more. Without the brain stem none of these functions would be possible. Because of its importance, any injury to the brain stem can be severely damaging.

How Can Brain Stem Injuries Occur?

Brain stem injuries are rare but can occur for a variety of reasons. Brain tumors and strokes can cause brain stem injuries. Another common way they are caused is by blunt force trauma. Car crashes can lead to a brain stem injury depending on the severity of the crash. Car accidents are known to leave victims with broken bones, lacerations, bruising, whiplash, and concussions. When your car accident results in even further trauma to the head, a brain stem injury can occur. It is also possible that during your crash a foreign object punctured your skull in such a way that damages the brain stem.

While auto accidents are some of the most dangerous, other situations can cause brain stem injuries as well. The following can result in a traumatic brain injury.

  • Slip and falls
  • Sports accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Physical assault
  • Workplace accidents

Brain injuries are some of the most dangerous that a person can sustain. It is vital that you identify your injury and seek medical attention as quickly as possible to be treated accordingly. Although a brain stem injury can severely limit your motor functions and impact your daily life, with the right medical care and therapies you may be able to make a full recovery.

Am I Eligible for Compensation?

You may be eligible for compensation after sustaining a brain stem injury from a car or other accident. The main element in determining whether or not you can collect compensation is liability. You should acquire the services of an attorney when pursuing legal action after your car accident. If another party was responsible for causing the accident then they can be found liable and be required to give you compensation. Proving fault in your accident is paramount. Your lawyer will skillfully assess the details of the situation to evaluate how fault can be determined. With liability identified, you can collect damages to cover your medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of income, and more.

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