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How Do Brain Injuries Occur During Car Crashes in San Francisco?

Car crashes are responsible for a significant portion of total brain injuries in San Francisco. These accidents can occur in a number of different ways, although the end result is essentially the same. Brain injury victims are left with serious, long-lasting consequences that can impact many aspects of their lives. These victims may have difficulty working in the future due to cognitive impairment. They may lose their relationships due to uncontrollable personality changes. Victims can also experience tremendous medical expenses for the rest of their lives.

Understanding how these injuries occur is the first step on the road to prevention. Auto safety technology has come a long way over the past few decades, and today manufacturers are still searching for ways to protect motorists. That being said, people in California still suffer head injuries on a regular occasion – despite the newest and most advanced safety equipment.

For those who have already experienced a head injury due to a car crash in San Francisco, it makes sense to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. These legal professionals can help head injury victims get the help they need to cover medical expenses, missed wages, and many other types of damages. Mary Alexander & Associates is one San Francisco-based firm that has successfully handled many head injury lawsuits in the past. It is too late for new technology to help these injury victims, and their only real path forward is via a personal injury lawsuit.


Whiplash is one of the most common auto injuries, especially for so-called “rear-enders.” This is when a vehicle strikes another vehicle from behind. The driver in front is suddenly thrown forward by a considerable impact, and this sudden change of motion can cause the neck to snap backward.

One of the most common misconceptions about brain injuries is that they only occur when your head impacts another object or surface. In fact, brain injuries can occur simply as a result of a sudden change in motion, such as whiplash. When your brain snaps backward at this speed, it can actually impact the inside of your skull. This can cause a TBI, otherwise known as a Traumatic Brain Injury.

These TBIs can be caused by a sudden change in direction from a variety of car crashes, not just rear-enders. For example, a head-on collision can cause your head to snap forward, and a side impact can cause your head to snap sideways. Even a relatively moderate traumatic brain injury can become progressively worse over time, resulting in life-altering consequences for the victim.


Contusions occur when the head directly strikes another object or surface. In a car accident, this can occur when the driver hits their head on part of their own vehicle. For example, a driver might hit their head on the steering wheel after a head-on collision. After a side impact, the driver might hit their head on the window or the frame of the car. These impacts can result in very serious head injuries, and they are likely to result in significant cognitive, emotional, and physical issues.

Skull Penetration

Perhaps the most serious brain injuries occur when the skull is penetrated by a foreign object. There is a wide range of possible objects that could impact your skull during a car accident. Even in relatively slow-speed accidents, car windows can shatter. The resulting shards of glass can easily fly through the air, impacting the driver’s head. In certain cases, these shards of glass can penetrate the skull. In more serious car accidents, the metal frame of the car can break apart and bend. Pieces of metal can then impact and penetrate the skull.

These foreign objects do not necessarily need to come from within the car. Vehicles can impact outside objects, such as bus stops, poles, bicycles, or even wild animals. These objects can come through the window and impact a driver’s head.

The consequences of a penetrating brain injury can be extremely serious. Heavy blood loss is almost always present, and it is imperative that emergency responders transport the victim to a nearby hospital as soon as possible. Individuals often lose consciousness when suffering this type of brain injury, and they may also go into a coma.

Preventing Brain Injuries

Essentially, motorists today rely on safety technology that is quite old. That being said, a seatbelt is still one of the most effective ways to prevent head injuries. One of the most common causes for head injuries is the driver’s head striking the inside of the car. This becomes much less likely when a seatbelt is holding them securely in place.

In addition, airbags remain one of the most effective tools in preventing head injuries. This safety technology was originally introduced in the 90s, and ever since then traffic fatalities have dropped noticeably. Among other things, airbags are specifically designed to cushion impacts to the skull.

With all that said, airbags are not a magical solution to head injuries. Studies have shown that airbags are most effective when the impact approaches the 12 o’clock position. In other words, this technology works best during head-on collisions. In addition, there have been many instances in the past where defective airbags have caused more harm than good.

Some studies have shown that if drivers wore protective headgear, the prevalence of head injuries would decline dramatically. Even though wearing helmets inside of cars might seem ridiculous, you have to remember that seatbelts were also once considered a ridiculous and over-the-top safety device.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the San Francisco area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We have dealt with a number of brain injury lawsuits in the past, and we know how to approach these cases with skill and compassion. Brain injuries can cause permanent, life-altering consequences for innocent victims. Many of these consequences may not be immediately visible to the outside world, which makes it all the more important to get help from an attorney. A skilled lawyer can prove that these issues are legitimate. Reach out and book your consultation today.

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