Back in 2013, the CDC reported that the auto accidents were the leading cause of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths. TBI, as many accident victims in Texas know, is short for traumatic brain injury, and it’s behind some 30% of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.

The CDC report is important because most TBI research is focused on the brain injuries incurred by military members and sports players, not by everyday road users. On account of this neglect, there has been little effort to assess TBI risk in car accidents. In April 2019, though, researchers came up with a method to measure TBI risk based on crash conditions like collision speed and the angle of impact.

The method can be said to bring together experimental data, such as motion data from crash test dummies, with computational data, which can simulate how the brain would be affected in a given crash scenario. The method can even make predictions in cases where one lacks information on crash conditions or on the victim’s brain.

Researchers hope the method can be used by first responders, who will input the data into a mobile app or other tool to determine TBI risk. To refine the results, they intend to incorporate actual car crash data and add factors like vehicle weight and victims’ age.

Most car accidents are caused by driver negligence, so those who suffer a TBI through no fault of their own may have a case against the guilty party. If successful, they may be compensated for past and future medical bills, lost wages and even future lost income as the TBI may have diminished their capacity to earn a living. Before filing, though, they may want a lawyer to give them guidance, especially when negotiating for a settlement with the insurance companies.