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Back-To-School Season Means More Drivers on the Road: The Dangers of Traumatic Brain Injuries

As the school season ramps up, is your teenager excited about getting their driver’s licence? Although driving alone is a big step toward independence, the reality is that motor vehicle collisions are a major cause of traumatic head injury (TBI) among new drivers.


These injuries can lead to permanent disability, mental impairment and even death. Here’s what you need to know to keep your child safe on the road and what to do if they’re hurt in an accident.

an adolescent boy in an orange sports jersey listens as a doctor reads his brain scans on xray behind him

COMMON TYPES OF BRAIN INJURIES IN CAR ACCIDENTS


Traumatic head injuries are caused by a sudden blow, bump, or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function. Brain injuries occur when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Common types of brain injuries include:

  • Concussion

  • Whiplash

  • Brain contusions

  • Skull fractures

  • Nerve damage

Ignoring the signs and symptoms of brain injury can put your child’s long- and short-term health at risk. See a doctor as soon as possible.

WATCH OUT FOR SYMPTOMS OF HEAD TRAUMA


The signs and symptoms of brain injury can differ depending on the severity of the incident. Although some symptoms can appear immediately, others take hours, days or months to emerge. Monitor your child for the following signs of head trauma:

  • Appearing dazed or stunned

  • Feeling sluggish, tired or groggy

  • Change in personality, mood or behaviour

  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating

  • Blurred vision

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Sensitivity to light or sound

  • Change in sleep patterns

The symptoms of TBI often have ongoing long-term effects that could prevent your child from returning to school or engaging in activities they previously enjoyed.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES SAVE LIVES – FOLLOW THE LAW


Although your child will learn about the following guidelines in their driver’s education class, you must reinforce them at home. Frequently remind your child to:

  • Wear a seat belt

  • Obey the speed limit

  • Be aware of your surroundings

  • Don’t drive while tired, angry or upset

  • Maintain a safe following distance; don’t tailgate

  • Don’t drink or do drugs before driving

  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving

  • Don’t eat or drink while driving

  • Plan ahead

Your child looks to you to set a good example. Therefore, make sure you practice safe driving yourself.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT


If your child is in a car accident and sustains a traumatic head injury due to someone else’s negligent behaviour, you may be able to claim financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Follow these steps:

  • Immediately seek medical attention to get a diagnosis and treatment

  • Collect the insurance and licence information from the drivers involved

  • Inform your insurance company of the crash and file a claim

  • Take pictures of the scene and record details of the incident, including the date, time, location and how it happened

  • Keep receipts or invoices for any expenses you incurred due to your child’s injuries

The more documents you keep, the easier it will be to take legal action. It’s also a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer. They can help you make an accident benefits claim and determine the benefits your child is entitled to. If your child suffers a permanent impairment, you may also be able to sue for damages.

SPEAK WITH A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN NORTHERN ONTARIO


If your child has suffered a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence, the lawyers at Feifel Gualazzi are here to help. Our team has extensive experience assisting victims who sustain serious head injuries. We’ll fight tirelessly to ensure you’re fairly compensated. Contact us today to find out if you have a case and arrange a free consultation.

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