Challenges of Connecting a Head or Brain Injury to a Crash

doctor studying brain x-rays

Head injuries are some of the most common types of injuries sustained in auto accidents. They range in severity from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury that has the potential to affect a victim’s quality of life. In some cases, a head injury may be so catastrophic it leads to death.

However, head injury symptoms may not appear right after an auto accident. It could take hour or days for symptoms to manifest. This can make it challenging to link a head injury to an auto accident. The insurance company may argue that your head injury was caused by something else to diminish or deny your claim for compensation. That is why we recommend working with an experienced lawyer.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, an experienced Cleveland car accident lawyer from Friedman, Domiano & Smith is here to help. He or she can review your situation and discuss your available options in a free initial consultation.

Call 216-621-0070 for Trusted Legal Help.  

Linking Your Head Injury to the Auto Accident

Linking a head injury to an auto accident can be challenging. These injuries can range in severity and have hidden symptoms. If you wait to see a doctor or stop treatment, this can make it harder to have a medical record that provides an accurate picture of your injury and its connection to the auto accident.  

A reputable lawyer at our firm is here to help. We are skilled negotiators and know what it takes to build a strong case for compensation. Unlike the insurance company, Friedman, Domiano & Smith has your best interests in mind.

Evidence that can be collected to provide proof of your head injury and its effect on your life includes:

  • Accident scene photos that may show how you sustained your head injury
  • Photos taken that show any visible bruising or swelling of your head
  • Detailed doctors’ notes on the extent and severity of your head injury
  • X-ray or MRI scans used to diagnose and monitor your head injury

The insurance company will have trouble trying to dispute a head injury claim if you have followed your doctor’s treatment plan and not skipped medical appointments since the auto accident.

However, you may need additional evidence. For example, your attorney may want to bring in a medical expert to explain how the crash caused your injuries. That is why it is vital to have an experienced attorney assisting you.

Our firm has helped many catastrophic injury victims recover compensation and we have the resources and legal knowledge to build a robust case.

Common Head Injuries from an Auto Accident

Head injuries can be either open or closed. Open head injuries are injuries that penetrate the skull and enter the brain. Closed head injuries are injuries that do not go through the skull. However, a closed head injury can be just as severe and life-threatening as an open head injury.

Common head injuries from an auto accident include, but are not limited to:


Concussions happen when the brain hits the inside of the skull due to sudden movement, such as an auto accident. This type of head injury can be mild or severe, causing permanent damage if re-injured. Symptoms often include temporary loss of consciousness, memory loss, headache, vomiting and nausea.


Contusions are bruises to the brain from a direct impact to the head. This can happen when flying debris in an auto accident hits your head or you hit your head against something inside the vehicle, such as the steering wheel or dashboard. This type of head injury can cause internal swelling/bleeding in the brain that requires immediate medical treatment. Symptoms often include trouble concentrating, cognitive changes, trouble balancing or coordinating, numbness and trouble forming new memories.  


A hematoma is an area of blood that collects outside of the larger blood vessels. If a hematoma occurs in the brain in an auto accident, the clotting can put significant pressure inside the skull. This can cause loss of consciousness or lead to permanent brain damage based on the size of the blood clot.


A hemorrhage is uncontrolled bleeding from the brain. Sometimes after the impact of an auto accident, there may not be any outward signs of head trauma but there may be hemorrhaging in the skull.  Depending on the amount of bleeding, symptoms may include headaches, vomiting or pressure buildup.

Skull Fracture

A cracked or fractured skull can increase the risk of having a traumatic brain injury. While a skull fracture may not always be easy to see after an auto accident, some symptoms include swelling or tenderness around the impact area, facial bruising, as well as bleeding from the nostrils or ears.


Edema or swelling of the brain can happen when the head suffers a sudden blow or hit, or a sudden acceleration or stop. Pressure buildup in the brain can cause the brain to press against the skull. Symptoms of edema include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and in severe cases, seizures and coma.

Anyone can sustain a head injury after an auto accident even at low speeds and without a blow to the head. However, some accidents are more likely to cause head injuries than others.

A head-on accident can cause a driver to slam his or her head on the steering wheel. A rear-end accident can cause a driver to slam forward and hit his or her head on the dashboard or get jerked backward and hit his or her head on the headrest causing whiplash. Sideswipe or T-bone accidents can also cause drivers and passengers to hit their heads on the side of the vehicle or a window.

Why Timely Medical Attention is Important

Timely medical attention after an auto accident is important for several reasons. You may have sustained a head injury and not know it. Even if you feel fine or are only experiencing mild symptoms, such as a slight headache, it could be indicative of something much more serious going on.

One of the hardest parts of head injuries is that it may not be immediately apparent that treatment is needed. Symptoms may remain hidden for some time. A head injury left untreated could worsen and cause other complications. That is why it is important to see a doctor to check for head injuries.

Be sure to be honest and detailed about any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you hit your head on the steering wheel or headrest, describe how it happened and the part of your head that was impacted.

If you are unsure about anything being asked by your doctor, reply with “I do not know.” Do not attempt to lie or exaggerate a head injury as this could negatively impact your claim. If your credibility is questioned, the insurance company will be less likely to provide full or any compensation at all. 

Years of Experience Helping Auto Accident Victims. Call Today

Many people who sustain head injuries have long-lasting effects. At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, our lawyers are experienced in helping auto accident victims obtain the compensation they need to cover medical bills, lost wages and more. We are ready to fight to get you the maximum amount.  

Contact us today to get your free consultation. There is no risk and no obligation to move forward after this meeting. If you have a viable claim, we charge no upfront fees. We only get paid if you get paid.

Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Ph: 216-621-0070.


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