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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Can you get a brain injury from whiplash?

When you think about whiplash, you don't usually think about a brain injury. However, did you know that an impact that is hard enough could result in a severe brain injury without ever hitting your head?

There are cases where victims of crashes have developed brain injuries without any apparent external injury. A traumatic head injury can happen with or without a direct impact, which is something many people don't understand.

Many believe that a brain injury is only present if you lose consciousness or have hit your head particularly hard. The reality is that you don't need to lose consciousness to have a brain injury. Why?

The brain can move inside the skull. A quick stop can force the skull forward and back rapidly. Unfortunately, the brain may not be able to move in a way that avoids crashing into the inside of the skull. In cases like that, the brain may suffer an injury in two places, the first point of impact and the one directly behind it, as the brain bounces inside the skull.

In a head-on crash, that would potentially mean that you'd suffer injuries to the frontal or temporal pole and prefrontal cortex. You could also suffer injuries to the occipital lobe or parietal lobe.

Acceleration-deceleration forces can cause significant injuries to the brain. Torsion from the brain spinning in the skull can cause significant tearing and damage as well.

As a victim of a crash, remember that it doesn't take an impact to cause a brain injury. You should always seek medical care, especially if you are having symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, like a loss of consciousness, nausea, light sensitivity or confusion.

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