Most people understand that a motor vehicle collision could spell personal, professional and financial disaster. The injuries that can result could include permanent paralysis, broken bones and even death. Since most people understand these risks, the average person is likely to be grateful if they can walk away from a crash that destroys their vehicle.
Unfortunately, that excitement and optimism could lead people to overlook serious symptoms. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or damage to the organs, may not present symptoms immediately. The same is true for traumatic brain injuries, particularly closed head injuries with no visible sign of trauma.
You don't have to crack your skull or wind up bleeding from the head to suffer a severe head injury. Your brain can get hurt inside your skull without realizing it, in some cases. Monitoring yourself and anyone else involved in a crash for brain injury symptoms is of critical medical importance.
Brain injury symptoms don't always show up immediately
In part because of all of the critical roles your brain performs, the body has a thick and strong skull in place to help reduce the risk of an injury to that most important of organs. In some circumstances, the skull's impressive ability to do its job of keeping the brain in place can actually pose a risk to your health.
In the event that there is an injury to your brain, there could be bleeding, bruising or swelling. With very little space between the edge of your brain and the skull, there is no place for that injured tissue to push into. That creates more pressure into the skull and brain, potentially creating a feedback loop that results in worse than any brain injury symptoms. They can start showing up hours after the crash or weeks later.
You should be on the lookout for any signs of serious brain injury for several months after a crash. These include:
- changes in sensory perception such as blurry vision or ringing ears
- sleep disruptions, such as trouble falling asleep or difficulty waking up after sleep
- changes in mood or personality
Err on the side of caution when it comes to your brain
You can injure your brain without ever striking your head on anything. Violent shaking, such as when your vehicle spins or flips, could be enough to produce a brain injury. If you or any of your passenger struck your heads, or the vehicle experienced violent motion during the crash, going to see a doctor now instead of waiting could be in your best interests.
The sooner medical professionals diagnose the injury, the better your overall prognosis. It's also important to understand that when another driver causes a crash that leaves you injured, you can usually take legal action against them in civil court. Talking with an attorney can help you better understand your options for compensation after your injury.