A research team hopes to work with data from the Arizona Department of Transportation to continue development of a tool that would help emergency response personnel predict the likelihood that victims could have traumatic brain injury at the scene of a car accident. A paper published by the researchers has already detailed a new method for using impact velocity and collision angle to calculate the probability of a TBI.

The lead researcher, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, used data collected from TBI investigations of animals and football players to build a computer model of how motor vehicle crashes affect the brain. The professor anticipates that this approach could be translated into a mobile tool to help paramedics evaluate crash victims for TBI. The proposed tool would allow paramedics to enter information about crash speed and other variables, such as vehicle weight and victim age, and immediately receive an assessment about the potential damage done to victims’ brains.

Immediate diagnosis and swift treatment of a TBI improves outcomes for crash victims and could reduce the death toll of motor vehicle crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI causes 30% of injury deaths nationwide.

Although the consequences of a TBI might not be immediately apparent right after an accident, the symptoms could develop later. Debilitating headaches or memory loss might arise in the days or weeks following an accident. As a result, the financial damages of a traumatic brain injury could be substantial if they limit someone’s ability to work. The advice of a personal injury lawyer may help a victim prepare a comprehensive insurance claim against the responsible party that takes into account the long-term costs of a brain injury.