There are a number of ways that people could sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The most common cause of TBIs is falling, followed by participation in sports. Many people end up striking their heads or having something hit them in the head during a car accident. That’s why the Center for Disease Control lists motor vehicle accidents as the third leading cause of TBIs in the United States.
Car crashes were responsible for 14 percent of all TBI-related emergency room visits and 19 percent of TBI-related deaths in 2013. That is the most recent year for which the CDC has statistics available.
It only takes a second for someone else’s distraction or intoxication to have a profound impact on your life and future. Whether someone merged or turned into you because of a cellphone-related distraction or if your vehicle was struck because another driver was drunk, the potential for serious injury and even wrongful death exists. Sustaining a traumatic brain injury can alter your ability to work, your ability to care for yourself and even your personality.
Symptoms of a TBI to watch for after a crash
One of the most important and common symptoms of a TBI is loss of consciousness. Despite what you may see on television or in movies, when you hit your head and pass out, it often only lasts for a few seconds. Even if you barely black out, you need to seek immediate medical attention. The other symptoms of a TBI can take days or even weeks to develop. In the meantime, you could receive treatments that could lessen the impact of your TBI on your life. If you don’t receive immediate medical care after your accident, it can become harder to prove the accident caused your injury.
Other symptoms of a TBI include:
- Blurry vision
- Headaches that persist
- Nausea and vomiting shortly after the injury
- Issues with balance or coordination
- Chronic exhaustion or lack of energy
- Increased emotional responses and mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- New issues with memory, especially retaining new information
If you or a loved one develops these symptoms after an accident, you need to seek medical care as soon as possible. Certain procedures can reduce pressure or internal bruising related to TBIs which can prevent worse damage. Doctors can also help you obtain physical therapy, which may become necessary if your symptoms impact your mobility or motor function. You can also receive support as you adjust to changes caused by your TBI, including issues performing your job or changes in your personality that impact your relationships and overall quality of life.