When someone hurts their head in a movie because of a car crash or similar trauma, the effects are dramatic. They either fall into unconsciousness immediately or start bleeding from their head somewhere.
While cuts and contusions can be warning signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBIs) after a car crash, there aren’t always outward signs of a brain injury right at the scene of a crash. Instead, it may be multiple days before people present serious symptoms of their brain injury.
Anyone involved in a high-speed crash, especially if they struck their head, rolled their vehicle or lost consciousness, could potentially be at risk of a brain injury because of the collision. They will need to watch carefully for signs of a TBI and seek immediate medical care if they start showing certain symptoms.
You have to watch for symptoms for weeks
Some symptoms of a TBI, like chronic or worsening headaches, are easy to associate with a recent car crash. Others, like blurry vision or difficulty falling asleep at night, may not seem like much more than a temporary irritation.
Brain injuries can cause a wide array of symptoms, including difficulty with physical balance, slurred speech, sleep disruptions, excessive sleeping, nausea, memory loss and even changes in personality. Those who experience a major motor vehicle collision need to monitor themselves and the other people in the vehicle for signs of a TBI for several weeks after the crash.
Seeing a doctor sooner is almost always better
The worsening symptoms of a TBI come from increasing pressure in the skull or worsening bruising of the brain. You can potentially keep those symptoms from getting worse by seeing a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms or seeking evaluation right after a car crash. The sooner someone receives treatment, the less likely they are to have progressive or worsening symptoms from a brain injury.
Even with quick treatment, a brain injury might mean tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and weeks of lost wages, if not a permanent change in someone’s earning potential. Identifying the consequences of a serious injury like a TBI will help you navigate an insurance claim and look at your other compensation opportunities following a major car crash.