Many Californians may not think a minor fender bender can cause a brain injury. However, the force of the vehicle struck by another object can cause something to hit your head or your skull to strike an object. A small car accident can exert enough force to cause concussions, hemorrhaging or bruising. 

The Columbia University Department of Neurology separates traumatic brain injuries into two types: closed and penetrating. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBIs followed by violence and falls. Primary brain injuries are the most noticeable at the time of collision while a secondary brain injury may take days to notice. 

The skull can strike the inside of your skull even if your head is no longer moving. This can result in lesions, bleeding, swelling and bruising of the brain. Since a closed injury is not as noticeable from the outside, some symptoms may take time for you to notice or couple with the accident. Penetrating brain injuries are often immediately treated at the time of the accident. 

The symptoms of a TBI range from the most obvious such as coma and an open wound to more subtle symptoms such as headaches and irritability. A TBI can cause symptoms that last a few days to permanent. Rehabilitation may work for some patients for certain symptoms, while others may experience a complete lifestyle as a result of the injury. 

If you think you may have a TBI, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if following a motor vehicle accident.