You were just running your weekly errands – grocery shopping, filling your car with gas and picking up clothes from the dry cleaners. However, on your way home, in an instant, a delivery vehicle ran a red light, barreling into the passenger side of your vehicle. In the moments after the crash, you lost consciousness for a couple minutes. You felt woozy and confused once you opened your eyes again.
You count yourself lucky you didn’t suffer any broken bones. However, you may have traumatic brain injury. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries leading to hospitalization, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Traumatic brain injuries require medical attention and can take months to heal.
You may not realize your traumatic brain injury (TBI) right away after an accident. You need to be aware of the symptoms of a TBI.
Mild traumatic brain injury
You may have a mild traumatic brain injury (including a concussion) if you notice these symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Feeling confused or disoriented
- Sleeping more than usual or having problems sleeping
Moderate or severe TBIs
You may have a moderate or more severe traumatic brain injury if you notice these symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness for several minutes or hours
- Persistent headaches
- Convulsions or seizures
- Repeated vomiting
- Dilation of your pupils
- Weakness or numbness in your fingers or toes
- Slurred speech
- Becoming easily agitated, combative or exhibiting other unusual behavior
Signs of traumatic brain injuries in children
If your young child was in the vehicle with you at the time of the crash, they may be unable to communicate well how they are feeling. The signs they may have a traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Change in eating habits
- Persistent crying
- Becoming easily irritable
- Unable to pay attention
- Feeling down or depressed
- Lack of interest in playing with their favorite toys or participating in their favorite activities
It’s important you seek medical treatment right away if you notice you or a loved one has signs of traumatic brain injury after an accident. Without treatment, brain injuries can become more serious, leading to further complications and even death. Once you are out of the hospital and feeling better, you should consult a personal injury attorney. You want to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries – enough to ensure any ongoing treatment.