Identifying the Symptoms of TBI After a Car Wreck

Woman suffering from brain injury symptoms following a crash.

Traumatic brain injuries can have severe consequences.

Due to their potentially life-altering effects, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most devastating outcomes of car accidents. TBIs manifest in various forms, which is why seeking immediate medical attention after a crash to mitigate long-term brain damage is essential.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, offering an opportunity to highlight this serious injury, particularly given the high rate of fatal and serious collisions in Texas and Oklahoma. Brain injuries can have a profound impact on victims and their families. As such, it's important to prioritize seeking both medical treatment and legal help to ensure the best possible outcome for recovery. Here's what you need to know.

Common Types of TBIs

Traumatic brain injuries can occur in any type of car accident, including rear-end and head-on collisions, as well as T-bones. The sudden impact of a crash subjects the head, brain, and neck to rapid acceleration and deceleration forces. Consequently, the brain may collide against the interior of the skull or undergo twisting and stretching within the cranial cavity. Among the common types of TBIs resulting from car accidents are:

  • Concussion: A concussion is a mild form of TBI that often involves temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, and headache. It occurs when the brain is jolted inside the skull due to the impact of the accident.
  • Contusion: Contusions are bruises on the brain tissue caused by the forceful impact of the brain against the skull. These injuries can vary in severity and may result in localized bleeding and swelling.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): DAI occurs when the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull, causing widespread damage to nerve fibers. This type of injury can lead to cognitive impairment, coma, or even death, depending on its severity.
  • Penetrating Head Injury: Penetrating injuries occur when foreign objects, such as shattered glass or debris from the car, penetrate the skull and damage brain tissue. These injuries can cause significant neurological deficits and may require emergency medical intervention.
  • Coup-Contrecoup Injury: In a coup-contrecoup injury, the brain is injured at two opposite points due to the initial impact and the subsequent rebound inside the skull. This can result in damage to multiple areas of the brain and complex neurological symptoms.
  • Hematoma: Hematomas are blood clots that form outside or inside the brain due to bleeding from damaged blood vessels. Depending on their location and size, hematomas can exert pressure on the brain, leading to serious complications.
  • Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: This type of TBI involves bleeding into the space between the brain and the thin tissues that cover it (subarachnoid space). It can result from the rupture of blood vessels due to the force of the impact.
  • Skull fracture: A skull fracture occurs when there is a break or crack in the skull bone. Fractures can range from minor hairline cracks to severe breaks that penetrate the brain tissue, posing a significant risk of neurological damage.

In some instances, TBI symptoms may not manifest until days or even weeks after the car wreck, making it challenging to link these symptoms to the underlying injury. Early recognition and proper medical evaluation are essential for effectively diagnosing and treating these injuries. That's why our car accident attorneys always recommend seeking immediate medical attention after a crash. You can never be too careful when it comes to your health.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms

Identifying brain injury symptoms early and seeking prompt treatment significantly enhances the chances of halting further damage to the brain and facilitating the healing process, ultimately improving the overall prognosis and quality of life for the affected individual. If you've been involved in a car or truck accident, it's crucial to be vigilant for these potential symptoms of a serious TBI:

  • Persistent headaches: Severe and persistent headaches that do not respond to over-the-counter medication may indicate a TBI. These headaches can vary in intensity and duration and often present as throbbing or pressure-like sensations.
  • Cognitive impairment: Difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and confusion are common signs of TBI. Victims may find it challenging to focus on tasks, retain new information, or recall past events. This cognitive fog can significantly impact daily functioning and interpersonal relationships.
  • Mood and behavioral changes: Irritability, mood swings, and depression can be early indicators of underlying neurological damage. Individuals may experience heightened emotional responses, sudden outbursts, or a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. These changes in behavior can disrupt social interactions and lead to feelings of isolation.
  • Physical symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light or noise are common physical manifestations of TBI. Victims may also report experiencing balance problems, difficulty walking, or a sense of disorientation. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or excessive daytime drowsiness, along with persistent fatigue, are also common.
  • Seizures: While not always immediate, seizures may occur weeks or months after the accident and should prompt immediate medical attention. These uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain can manifest as convulsions, loss of consciousness, or temporary confusion. Seizures can vary in severity and frequency, necessitating ongoing monitoring and treatment.

Regardless of the type of TBI sustained, injured accident victims in Texas and Oklahoma have the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses and other damages. It's essential to consult with an attorney who can advocate for your legal rights and help you pursue a personal injury claim.

It's not just a brain injury — it's your life

When you or someone you care about has suffered a TBI, it's easy to underestimate the long-term impact it can have on your life. Beyond the immediate medical concerns lie many potential challenges: ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitative therapy, loss of income due to disability, and the emotional toll on both you and your loved ones.

Seeking compensation for a brain injury after a crash isn't just about covering immediate medical bills; it's about securing your future. Long-term care costs for TBIs can quickly accumulate, leaving victims financially burdened for years to come. From specialized medical care to assistive devices and home modifications, the expenses associated with managing a TBI can be overwhelming.

Moreover, the emotional and psychological toll of living with a TBI cannot be overstated. It affects every aspect of daily life, from relationships to employment opportunities. Securing fair compensation is not just about financial recovery; it's about obtaining the resources needed to rebuild your life and regain a sense of independence and dignity.

Contact us today for a free consultation

At Hoover Rogers Law, LLP, our attorneys understand the profound impact a TBI can have on your life. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to helping you find your way forward by fighting for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free and confidential case evaluation today to learn more about how we can help. We have offices in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

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