The impact from a motor vehicle collision could cause you to hit your head. If you hit your head with enough force, it could cause a traumatic brain injury.
There are many different types of traumatic brain injury, and while some are relatively mild, you should always receive a medical evaluation because any injury to the brain can have serious complications. Contusions and concussions are two different types of brain injuries with similar-sounding names. WebMD explains the difference between the two.
A contusion is the medical term for a bruise. A brain contusion can be serious because it can cause swelling and bleeding, which can put pressure on your brain. A contusion that causes excessive bleeding or covers a large area of the brain may require surgery to treat.
A concussion occurs when a violent jolt causes your brain to move around within your skull. This can damage blood vessels and nerve tissue. A concussion causes symptoms such as confusion, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, headaches, memory loss, balance problems and blurred vision. Symptoms do not always show up right away.
Concussions are usually not life-threatening, and you may be able to return to normal life within a few days, assuming that you do not have other symptoms from your car accident that would prevent this. However, the complete resolution of a concussion may take up to several years.
While a single brain contusion or concussion can be serious, the cumulative effects of repeated traumatic brain injuries can be even more dangerous, especially in the short term. If you have a traumatic brain injury, you should be careful to avoid another one before the first has healed.