Each year in the U.S. over a million people go to their doctor due to an injury to their head. Over 100,000 will be diagnosed with TBI or brain injury, which can affect their lives seriously for a short time or possibly for the rest of their lives. An experienced personal injury attorney can help guide you through some of the processes involved in recovery, but learning about a TBI might help start you in the right direction.

Even a mild TBI, can have the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and/or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds, or a few minutes or more
  • No loss of consciousness for feeling dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual

Signs and symptoms may appear at once, within 24 hours, or they may emerge days or weeks after the injury. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle. A person may notice a problem but not relate it to the injury. Some people will appear to have no symptoms after a TBI, but their condition worsens later. Whenever symptoms appear (no matter how mild), your doctor should be immediately called.

Also, depending on the details of the accident, the victim may be entitled to damages that could help immensely in the treatment and quality of their later lives. If you are diagnosed with a TBI, seeking the help of a personal injury attorney may be vital for you and your family’s financial and emotional future.

During a car accident (even what may seem like a mild one), your brain is subjected to extremely violent physical forces. It may be affected by bruising or bleeding, tearing or even swelling. The soft tissue of the brain may be violently pushed up against the hard bone of the skull.

When this occurs, the blood vessels in the brain may rupture or tear. This would result in blood flowing into sections of the brain where it should not be. An uncontrolled, unusual blood flow into the brain (a brain bleed) can cause extreme damage and also be highly detrimental to many cognitive functions. In a brain bleed, blood flows into the brain where there is no room for it to flow.

This creates pressure on the brain itself, causing parts to malfunction. Brain tissue is delicate and this pressure may cause the brain tissue to be damaged, malfunction or even die off. With excessive pressure, the affected parts of the brain may alter vital physiological functions such as breathing or heart rate.

The absolute first thing you should do after a car accident is get checked out medically. If there are symptoms of a TBI (even if mild), follow up with your doctor or possibly a specialist. Depending on the details of the accident and the diagnosis, get some informative advice from a personal injury attorney.

A car accident is a traumatic and complex event and advice from an attorney after an accident might be an important part of the process for you, especially if you suffered a potentially severe injury. You may very well be due money damages, and you may vitally need those funds for treatment, or to help with the changes to your cognitive function that affects the rest of your life.

What Other Types of Brain Injury can I Sustain in a Car Accident?

To be as simple about the matter as possible, there are essentially five different types of injury to the brain:

  • Concussion: This is a form of TBI that is due to the brain hitting the hard wall of the skull during a car accident, or other accidents that cause violent, instant movement. It may have many types of symptoms, such as: headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, amnesia about the accident, fatigue, ringing in the ears and others. It is a TBI and can have long term effects.
  • Contusion: This is for accuracy, a bruise on the brain. It also is caused by violent movement, such as a car accident. It may have different symptoms, such as difficulty forming sentences, slurred speech, difficulty forming new memories, numbness or tingling in the affected area, and finding it hard to concentrate.
  • Penetration: Debris in an accident may cause this type of injury. It usually is severe, and symptoms may include difficulty breathing, seizure, heavy blood loss, loss of bladder or bowel function, and even coma or paralysis.
  • Diffuse Axonal: This injury occurs usually in high speed accidents, and is caused by severe rotation or shaking of the head. The brain (and the rest of your body) keeps moving when the vehicle stops abruptly, and smashes into the skull. Signs include: headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and more.
  • Coup-Contrecoup: This injury occurs during violent accidents, such as a roll-over. Here the brain may be shaken severely and strike both the left and right side of the skull. Both sides of the brain may be damaged. This type of injury may result in a host of symptoms and damage, only some being: bleeding in the brain, swelling in the brain, skull fracture, memory issues, mood alteration, sensitivity to light and sound, tinnitus, and more.

After a Car Accident that results in a TBI, What Should I Do Next?

Always, as soon as possible, see your doctor if you or your child has received a blow to the head or body that concerns you or causes behavioral changes. Seek emergency medical care if there are any signs or symptoms of traumatic brain injury following a car accident or other traumatic injury to the head.

The terms “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” are used to describe the effect of the injury on brain function. However, a mild injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis.

TBI should never be ignored, and if you were not at fault or even suspect you were not, you should see a local personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Most accident lawyers will require no fee for discussion or unless damages are awarded.

They will look into all the details of your case, and help you receive the compensation for medical bills for your treatment and recovery. They also will work to get you the damages compensated for, so you and your family can have the life you deserve.