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Brain Stem Injuries In Motor Vehicle Accidents


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are among the common ways a person may get a traumatic brain injury. Often, when a traumatic brain injury does not result in death, it leads to severe cognitive, physical, and emotional difficulties that usually last for a long time. Damage to an individual’s brain stem can result in some of the most disastrous results of all auto accident traumatic brain injuries.

Some Information About the Brain Stem

The brain stem or brainstem is the part of the brain that connects the spinal cord and the brain.  As its name suggests, the brainstem is located at the base of the skull.

The brain stem is a crucial part of the human brain as it controls vital bodily functions such as;

  • voluntary and involuntary breathing
  • body temperature control and regulation
  • digestion
  • heartbeat

Functions like motor control and facial movement are also controlled through the brainstem. When information from the various body systems enters into the brainstem, the brain stem reports it to the other regions in the brain. Generally, the human brain gains access to crucial signals through the functioning of the brainstem. Simply put, your vital organs communicate with the brain stem, and then the brainstem communicates with the other areas of your brain.

The brainstem has three main regions:

  1. The pons
  2. The midbrain
  3. The medulla oblongata

Brain Stem Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents

During a car accident, brain stem injuries can occur in several ways. For example, a brain stem injury can happen when bodily trauma causes the spinal cord to suffer damage or become fully severed. In order to avoid brain stem injuries, it is advisable for drivers and other vehicle occupants to always use seat belts. Also, wearing helmets on motorcycles and bicycles can protect you from brain stem injuries.

Symptoms of Brain Stem Injuries

Some of the common symptoms of a brain stem injury include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Loss of smell
  • Inability to swallow
  • Memory loss
  • Unexpected personality changes
  • Severe cognitive impairment
  • Weakness and motor impairment
  • Speech impairment


After suffering a brain stem injury in an auto accident, your doctor will recommend treatment depending on the damage caused to your brain stem. Treatment may involve surgery, medication, and a combination of physical, occupational, and emotional therapies.

Contact Us for Legal Help

Unfortunately, most survivors of brain stem injuries can expect to experience some symptoms for the rest of their lives. These symptoms usually lead to substantial medical costs. Symptoms of brain stem injuries can also limit a person’s ability to provide for themselves. For these and other reasons, you should speak to a qualified personal injury attorney immediately if you suffered a brain stem injury in an accident because of another person’s negligence. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm can assess your case for free. If you have a valid claim, we can fight to win the highest award for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Bradenton, Daytona Beach, Bradenton, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, and Orlando areas.



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