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New Jersey residents who plan on taking a road trip during the summer are probably aware that others have similar plans. This means more cars on the road and, unfortunately, more crashes. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car and motorcycle crashes are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries. This should be a cause for concern for everyone out on the road.

TBI symptoms can arise just minutes after an accident, but they are often delayed symptoms. They can include exaggerated mood changes, slurred speech and changes in cognitive function. Doctors examining crash victims will look for issues like memory loss, poor word recall, loss of balance and coordination and a diminished ability to count backward. These could point to a TBI or, in less severe cases, a concussion.

Crash victims are usually encouraged to get to a doctor right away, and should they be diagnosed with a concussion, they should closely manage it. Persistent symptoms could point to a TBI instead. If a TBI is not caught right away, the bleeding and pressure inside the skull could cause permanent brain damage. This could happen in a matter of days.

In the case of auto accidents where victims were not at fault or only partially at fault, a personal injury claim may be filed. Under comparative negligence law, victims will need to show that their degree of fault does not exceed the defendant’s. Gathering the proof to back this up may require the help of a lawyer and a team of professionals. Victims might have their lawyer negotiate with the auto insurance company for a settlement or proceed to litigation.