People who get into car crashes often try to check themselves for injuries after the disorientation of impact fades to some degree. That way, they can effectively communicate with dispatchers about what kinds of medical services they might require. Frequently, people inspect themselves for signs of spinal cord injuries and broken bones right after a crash.
However, there are a host of other injuries that crash victims suffer that may be harder for them to identify. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common after collisions, but they are relatively hard for people to spot at a glance, which is one of the reasons why it is important to seek medical attention after a wreck, even if those involved don’t believe that they are hurt. These are some of the most obvious warning signs of a TBI, although others are far more subtle.
1. A loss of consciousness
When someone hits their head and passes out or blacks out during the vehicle rollover crash they experience, that gap in consciousness is a warning that they may have suffered a brain injury. Those involved in the crash who lose consciousness for even half a minute need to convey that information to dispatchers and medical personnel so that they receive appropriate testing.
2. Sensory changes
A lot of what the human brain does involves processing sensory information, so damage to the brain can affect how people perceive the world around them. Brain injuries can lead to blurry vision and ringing in someone’s ears. They can cause olfactory issues where people can’t smell things or smell things that aren’t there.
3. Motor function issues
People who have long had excellent motor control may find themselves struggling with common tasks after a car crash. Someone who embroiders may have trouble even gripping a needle, while professionals may find it uncomfortable or difficult to handle their tools.
Sometimes, people experience gross motor function issues, such as a change in their gate or the way that they walk. It is also possible for people to experience vertigo or a change in their sense of balance because of a brain injury.
4. Cognitive symptoms
The way that someone thinks can change when they have a brain injury, so their personality and behavior might noticeably shift as well. A TBI could also cause issues with problem-solving and decision-making. They can lead to impulse control issues and difficulty recalling information.
For many people, the most basic symptoms of a brain injury will include so persistent or worsening headache, a sense of nausea and disruptions to their standard sleep patterns. Given that it can take several weeks or symptoms to fully develop after a crash, people involved in a wreck often need to keep watching themselves for quite some time after the crash and may need to tell their doctors about the collision even when they notice an issue two weeks later.
Proving that a serious medical issue resulted from a motor vehicle collision that was either not the victim’s fault or was only partially the victim’s fault can help a TBI patient – or their loved ones – successfully secure financial compensation for hospital bills and other losses. Seeking legal guidance in the wake of sustaining an injury is generally the first step that interested parties will need to take if they are interested in pursuing rightful compensation.