It is common for victims of car accidents to sustain traumatic brain injuries. These occur when the brain strikes the inside of the skull, causing bruises or tears in the blood vessels and brain tissue. Depending on the circumstances, it can be a mild, moderate, or severe injury.
Even though head injuries can have devastating consequences, many car accident victims often miss the signs in the accident’s aftermath. This is precisely why you are urged to seek medical care immediately after an accident to check for this type of injury.
What are the symptoms associated with traumatic brain injuries?
If you have a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it is important to know that the symptoms may not surface immediately. Symptoms may also vary depending on the severity of the TBI.
Symptoms of mild TBI
A mild traumatic brain injury may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, changes in speech, loss of balance, vision changes, sensitivity to sound or light, ringing in the ears, sleep issues, memory lapses, and mood changes. With a mild TBI, you may even lose consciousness for a few seconds or minutes or feel disoriented in the moments following your accident.
Symptoms of moderate-to-severe TBI
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries often cause accident victims to lose consciousness for minutes or hours following the wreck. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, especially if you have a headache that is ongoing or continues to worsen.
Other symptoms of moderate to severe TBI include consistent vomiting and nausea, seizures, clear fluids running from the ears or nose, numbness or weakness in the fingers and toes, lack of coordination, extreme confusion, slurred speech, agitation or other behavioural changes, and difficulty waking up. Some accident victims with severe TBI may become comatose.
What should you do if you think you or a loved one have a TBI after an accident?
Anyone can end up with a TBI in a car accident, even children. This can be even more problematic because they may not be able to fully explain their symptoms. Watch your children and other loved ones for behavioural changes in these circumstances.
Make sure that you let a medical professional examine you for traumatic brain injuries and other injuries, even if the accident didn’t seem too serious. A traumatic brain injury can occur in any kind of crash.
If your accident was severe enough for paramedics to come to the scene, let them assess you for the possibility of a brain injury. They are trained to look for signs of brain damage and can ensure you get proper care. You may be sent to the hospital for imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI.
What happens if I am diagnosed with a brain injury after my car accident?
If you are told you have a brain injury from the crash, what happens next will depend on its severity. With mild TBIs, you may be able to go home and have loved ones keep watch over your condition. If any symptom becomes persistent, worsens, or you develop new symptoms, you should contact your doctor. Most of the time, a mild TBI will require you to get some rest at home and follow any orders from your doctors.
In more serious cases, you will need to stay at the hospital for further monitoring. They will not release you until they are certain your brain is getting proper oxygen and blood. After your condition stabilises, you can begin rehabilitation for tasks like walking, talking, and other daily tasks that may have been impacted by these injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries have the potential to affect every part of your life. You may be lucky and have only minimal impacts, or you may find that your life has been turned completely upside down by this injury. Regardless of its severity, treating a traumatic brain injury of any kind will result in massive medical bills.
If you suffered a brain injury as a result of a car accident, after you get the medical care you need, you should contact a personal injury attorney. They can help you with your injury claim and will seek compensation from the at-fault driver whose negligence put you in this situation.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.