Car accidents can cause a number of health problems and injuries, ranging from the relatively minor to the completely disabling. Some collision victims make the mistake of thinking that being able to get up and walk away from the crash site means they do not have to worry about injuries. If you were injured in a car crash, it is important for you to be aware that some serious conditions can begin showing up some time after the accident.
Traumatic brain injury is a frequent result of car accidents. This is because TBI happens when there is impact to the brain, whether directly through an open wound or by the brain crashing against the inside of the skull.
Impact may cause TBI
If you hit your head against a surface during the crash, you may suffer from TBI. Even if your head did not hit anything, TBI can occur if you were traveling quickly and came to an abrupt stop, as your brain, traveling at its original velocity, impacts against the skull, which has stopped moving.
Indications of possible TBI include losing consciousness at the scene, experiencing confusion or loss of memory and suffering unusual headaches. Severe TBI typically generates obvious symptoms and can result in high levels of impairment. Sufferers of severe TBI may lose function in their limbs, become cognitively impaired or even lapse into a coma.
Mild TBI can be harder to identify. Symptoms often include nausea, fatigue, irritability, lack of focus, memory problems and headaches. Many people initially overlook these symptoms or attribute them to other causes. However, if you were recently in a car accident, these symptoms mean you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms are not always immediately obvious
Because some TBI symptoms do not appear right away, medical personnel who examine you at the scene of the accident or in the emergency room may not be able to identify it at the time. Just because no one said anything to you at the time does not mean you should dismiss later symptoms as “probably nothing.”
Lasting effects of TBI
While there is no cure for TBI, prompt and thorough treatment can alleviate some of its effects. Sufferers may need long-term physical or speech therapy. Many need assistance with chores, medication and devices such as wheelchairs. Even with the right treatment, TBI symptoms can have a serious effect on the ability to work, socialize, maintain family relationships and function from day to day.
Many people with TBI continue to need treatment for the rest of their lives. Getting legal compensation for your accident can help cover medical bills and lost earnings and compensate for diminished quality of life. An experienced lawyer can aid you in pursuing available legal options to their fullest extent.