In the moments immediately following a motor vehicle crash or collision, you may simply feel grateful that you can walk away from the wreck. Many people every year sustain broken bones or spinal cord injuries caused by accidents, and you may feel relieved to not have any major symptoms of an injury.
However, some of the most serious and long-lasting injuries aren’t always obvious. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may not always be noticeable immediately after a crash, but they can cause permanent disability and severe symptoms if you don’t receive proper treatment. Just because you can walk away from the crash doesn’t mean you should bypass a thorough medical evaluation. If you notice any of the symptoms of a TBI after a crash, you need to seek immediate medical care.
Brain injury symptoms are often delayed
There are a number of factors when you experience symptoms from a crash-related TBI. First of all, you will likely experience a rush of adrenaline in the wake of the crash. You may experience increased energy, alertness and focus. You may also not notice aches and pains that could prove be something serious. For some people, the pain of a TBI becomes obvious when your body’s chemical reaction to the accident fades.
For other people, it could be several days or even weeks before the worst of the symptoms manifest. If you have minor swelling, bruising or bleeding on the brain, it could take some time for you to notice any obvious signs. As the bruising or pressure on your brain worsens, so will your symptoms.
Headaches, loss of consciousness and nausea are all symptoms
It may sound obvious, but headaches are one of the telltale symptoms of a TBI. Especially if they persist for some time, that could be a sign of an injury to your brain. There are other common symptoms, which include:
- loss of balance
- problems with speech
- sensitivity to light or sound
- change in mood
- difficulty focusing
- seizures or convulsions
- fluids draining from nose or ears
- dilation of the pupils
- loss of coordination
Anyone who passes out after a crash, even for a few seconds, needs to seek immediate medical care. After all, even if the person didn’t hit one’s head on something, the shaking from the collision could have caused a TBI.
It is always best to seek medical evaluation when there’s a potential for a TBI. Earlier treatment can improve the prognosis for some people with TBIs, and treatment can prevent worsening symptoms over time as well. If symptoms are slow to develop, early medical treatment can help connect your ongoing condition with the crash, which could prove important for insurance and other compensation.