Car accidents often result in a variety of serious injuries. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is one such injury that merits special discussion.
TBI typically happens as the result of a strong impact to the head. The damage can range from mild to severe, although the course of the injury may not always follow a predictable path. TBI can affect functioning in all other areas of the body as well, depending on the function of the part of the brain that was injured.
At the accident scene
Initial symptoms of TBI often include loss of consciousness and/or amnesia. In cases of mild TBI, the periods of unconsciousness and memory loss can be quite brief; many people do not realize this even happened. When severe TBI is involved, these symptoms last at least half an hour.
Other TBI symptoms may take hours or even weeks to show up. Severe TBI symptoms include coma, loss of function in some or all limbs, and serious cognitive, speech or memory impairment. These symptoms are hard to miss but can manifest hours and even days after the accident. Severe TBI can result in death or permanent disability.
Watch for symptoms of mild and moderate TBI
Mild to moderate TBI symptoms typically present in less dramatic fashion, and many people at first mistake these symptoms for minor, unrelated illnesses. Common symptoms include nausea, fatigue, distraction, mild speech impairment, memory impairment, headaches, irritability and mood swings, and these symptoms may take as long as several weeks to manifest.
If you go to the emergency room straight from the accident scene, you are not likely to get a diagnosis of mild or moderate TBI. In the following weeks, watch out for the above symptoms as well as any other changes in your physical and mental health. Seeking medical attention promptly can get you on the way to receiving a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
Even mild TBI can have a detrimental effect on your ability to earn money and enjoy life. If you have suffered a brain injury due to someone else's negligent driving, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about obtaining the full measure of compensation to which you are entitled. A personal injury lawyer can assess the current and future costs of the injury and help you get the compensation you need and deserve.