If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the most important first step is to see a physician as soon as possible. Even if you were able to walk away from the accident, many serious injuries may not be obvious until days or weeks later.
Your accident may mean that you are eligible for compensation for damage to your car and personal injury. However, if you wait too long to see a doctor about any medical issues, the law may conclude your injuries might have happened after your accident occurred.
More importantly, your well-being demands that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Serious injuries to the head and brain can cause permanent damage if they are not examined and treated right away.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A TBI is dangerous on many levels. First of all, you could have a TBI and feel fine initially, while the lasting effects can actually be more severe. These serious injuries can occur from either your head striking a part of the car or simply from severe whiplash.
The most common TBIs are caused by an impact on the head. This can cause a skull fracture, hemorrhaging (bleeding in the brain), hematoma (brain blood clots), edema (brain swelling), and more. If not treated immediately, a TBI can cause brain damage or death.
Concussions may not always be serious, but if left untreated, they can cause long-term health conditions. It is one of the most common head injuries in a car accident. Some concussions are so severe that they become TBIs.
Your skull is a collection of bones forming plates that protect your brain. If you suffer a break in one of these bones, it is often extremely painful. Left untreated, your head can swell, leading to brain hemorrhage, hematomas, and edema.
Brain Bruising (Contusion)
Though not as serious as a hemorrhage, bruising in the brain will certainly impair your ability to go about your day. You may have difficulty keeping your balance, accessing key memories, and may even experience personality changes.
Most people associate whiplash with back or neck injuries. But the reality is that your brain can become injured without directly hitting an object. Sudden whiplash often means damaging collisions to the brain against the skull. Two common injuries that occur are coup contrecoup and diffuse axonal injuries, which are when the brain is jolted strongly enough to collide with the skull.
Your head does not need to strike any surface for it to suffer a serious injury such as diffuse axonal or coup contrecoup. As such, make sure that your doctor knows if you are suffering from a headache or other serious symptoms after whiplash.
Common Symptoms of Serious Head or Brain Injuries
The most common symptom for any of the injuries above is a headache. Another common symptom might be general confusion or drowsiness.
Those suffering from a concussion usually feel an abnormal sensitivity to light. They may also feel dizzy and even nauseous. Victims may have difficulty speaking clearly or intelligibly. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is also a common concussion symptom.
TBIs can include the symptoms above or present with even more alarming symptoms. These include blood loss through the nose, ears, and eyes. Victims may lose major cognitive function or experience mood swings.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
If you suffered a head or brain injury after an accident for which you were not at fault, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Initial consultations with attorneys at Stewart & Stewart are free of charge.
You are likely eligible to receive compensation for damages resulting from the other driver’s negligence.
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.