By Francis M. Smith
When most people think about the kinds of serious injuries that can result from an automobile accident, it's the visually obvious physical damage that first comes to mind: wounds, broken bones, and torn muscles and ligaments. These kinds of injury are relatively easy to identify, and the difference between "injured" and "recovered" is fairly obvious. But there is a type of injury that very frequently results from car accidents that is much harder to recognize and understand. In fact, the medical profession is still learning about these injuries.
Brain injuries resulting from head trauma are common in auto accidents, and until recently, they were considered among the less severe types of injury you might sustain in a crash. Common wisdom used to hold that the symptoms of a concussion would fade in a few days or weeks with careful rest. But concussions, or traumatic brain injuries as they are more accurately called, can be much more serious and persistent than once believed. A blow to the head received during an automobile accident - or even severe "whiplash" without striking the head - can produce the same kind of brain injuries that returning soldiers have suffered due to their proximity to an explosion.