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Is It Safe for Californians to Drive after a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury can happen after any incident that causes a blow to the head area. This might be a car accident or a slip and fall incident, but whatever the circumstances, it is a serious event in every case. Is it safe for Californians to drive after a TBI? Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys explore this question in the guide presented below.


How Common Are Brain Injuries?

TBIs have a high rate of occurrence among American citizens. They can affect anyone of any age and there are over one million recorded incidents every single year. This is primarily owing to the fact that brain injuries can be caused by a range of impact-related incidents. Anyone who falls in the street, off a bike, bangs their head, has something dropped on them, gets into a car crash, and so many more situations, may become a victim of this kind of head injury.


How Might a TBI Affect Driving?

If you have suffered from a TBI and are wondering exactly how it may impact your ability to drive, talk to our leading personal injury law firm today. When the symptoms and typical consequences of this style of injury are observed, it is easy to see how it may impact the ability to drive. Not only do you have to consider the physical and emotional symptoms, but it is also necessary to ensure you are operating within the law. There are a high number of reasons why head injuries such as this can impact driving from problems concentrating to physical mobility issues.


Common Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury

To explore this topic further, it is necessary to address the most common consequences of a traumatic brain injury. When you meet with or talk to a personal injury accident attorney in our team, they will advise you regarding your specific condition too.


It is not uncommon for people who have been through something like this to experience physical numbness in the aftermath. This affects any part of the body, but the most typical areas are the arms and legs. Numbness is a complete loss of feeling and is accompanied for the most part by tingling sensations akin to pins and needles. If you are struggling with this, then it will impact how capable you are of driving safely, which is a major concern.

Loss of Mobility

Brain injuries also affect mobility in various ways. For example, losing the ability to walk or control the legs has been known to happen. Should this be the case for you, it will be incredibly difficult to adapt to driving. Your life has changed in a significant way, and this means forfeiting some of the things you could do before the accident like operating a vehicle.

Vision Impairment

Vision impairment is partial blindness, aura migraines, and random blind spots in the ocular area. Sight is an integral sense when it comes to driving and doing it safely for both yourself, the passengers, and fellow road users.

Dizziness Episodes

It is difficult to do anything when a dizzy spell comes around, never mind driving a car. Unfortunately, brain injury victims typically suffer from episodes of dizziness during the months after the incident took place. How does this impact driving? Well, the most obvious answer is that it is impossible to carry out such an intricate task that requires a high level of concentration and attention if the inside of your head is spinning about. So, in this circumstance, driving would not be recommended or even legal.

Head Pain

Head pain comes in a variety of ways, the most common of all being intense migraines. After a TBI, these can come on at any time, any place, and anywhere. Therefore, getting behind the wheel in the driver’s seat seems like a risky move. Migraines are debilitating forms of head pain and make people take to their bed in a dark room, sometimes for days at a time.

Concentration and Memory

The most important thing a driver must do is concentrate on the road and their vehicle. If your brain has been foggy since the accident, then this won’t be possible and you will be putting yourself, and others, at risk! Memory also plays a part because episodes of confusion are also not ideal for safe drivers.


Seizures are another factor that prohibits sensible vehicle operation. While, like most other symptoms on the list, they cannot be predicted and they may not strike at all, they do still affect over half of all TBI victims.


It is fairly typical for TBI survivors to struggle with heavy fatigue. It is well known that you can’t expect to drive if you are not awake enough to make clear decisions and fulfill your duty of care.


Is It Safe to Return to Driving?

Is it safe? Only your doctor can answer that question properly. The best car accident attorneys in our offices understand the legal side of this question, but evidence will be required from a medical professional in order to gain a sense of the full picture.


What Does the Law Say?

In California, the law is explicitly clear on who can and cannot return to driving after a brain injury. It allows the DMV to issue a request for a re-examination for anyone who wants to drive post-TBI. Though this may feel like a hurdle to jump through, if you want to go back to normal and get back in your car, this is just a box you have to tick.


Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help

Whether you are an innocent pedestrian who suffered through a hit-and-run, or a car driver hit by a drunk rider, we can help you find the best path forward. With years of experience behind us, we will direct you to the right place.

Is it safe for Californians to drive after a TBI? Get in touch with us today to talk it through with our expert attorneys. Serving clients is what we do, and there is no conversation too big or too small. Visit our offices to find out how we can support you.

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