After getting into a car accident, it’s important to take inventory of your body and pay attention to how you’re feeling. Injuries from a car crash range from mild to severe, sometimes taking hours or days until the first signs of symptoms. Seeking medical attention right away after an auto accident can ensure your injuries are quickly diagnosed and treated.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most severe types of injuries to be aware of because they can cause the most long-term damage. The brain is a sensitive organ. Brain injuries can lead to life-altering (even life-threatening) consequences.
It can be difficult to gauge the severity of a brain injury without a proper medical examination or brain scan. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid the risk of your condition worsening.
Common Types of Brain Injuries Caused by Auto Accidents
Brain injuries can result from a minor collision or a traumatic accident. TBIs can be caused by the force of the collision alone or occur when the head strikes an interior surface of the car (i.e., dashboard, door or steering wheel).
There are a number of different brain injuries you could sustain during an auto accident.
- Diffuse axonal: This injury is caused by a severe head rotation that forces the brain to strike the skull on impact — tearing nerve tissues and damaging brain structures. Diffuse axonal disrupts the brain’s communication channels and chemical processes which can lead to temporary or permanent brain damage.
- Concussion: This is one of the most common forms of injury caused by a rapid, violent movement of the head or sudden change in momentum. The severity of a concussion varies but often leads to symptoms like dizziness, loss of consciousness, nerve damage, or bleeding and swelling of the brain.
- Penetration: This is when an object (i.e., glass or debris) penetrates the head. Penetration may only go to the surface of the skull. However, in severe scenarios penetrating injuries can pierce through to the brain. The sight of oozing blood or difficulty breathing may be an indication of a penetration brain injury.
- Contusion: This occurs when the brain becomes bruised and can cause pain or swelling. In severe cases, a contusion may need to be surgically removed. Risks include headaches, blood clots, memory loss and difficulty speaking.
- Coup-contrecoup: This is when the brain becomes bruised on both sides (A.K.A. a more severe contusion). A coup-contrecoup is often the result of extreme head rotations anytime the brain moves suddenly within the skull, damaging the brain structure. This injury is especially common in roll-over accidents.
What Are the Symptoms to Watch For?
Initial signs of a brain injury may not appear until hours or days following the car accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible can help ease your nerves and confirm the state of your health and well-being before you suffer complications. People with TBIs are especially vulnerable and their symptoms may worsen if left untreated.
Be alert for the slightest side effects and see a doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness in extremities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with emotions
- Light or sound sensitivity
If you experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately. Brain injuries must be treated swiftly to avoid the risk of long-term or life-threatening effects. Even if it turns out you aren’t suffering from a brain injury, it is better to take precautions.
Can Brain Inquires Cause Long-Term Effects?
Any injury to the brain is serious and should be treated appropriately. Even with time and treatment, it is possible to feel the effects months or even years after a TBI. While your brain works to repair itself immediately after sustaining an injury, not all damage can be repaired naturally or even with the help of medical intervention.
Some of the long-term side effects of a TBI may include:
– Migraines or headaches
– Visual impairment
– Light or sound sensitivity
– Difficulty concentrating
Have You Been Injured in an Atlanta Car Accident?
Once you’ve sought the medical attention you need, it’s important to speak with a brain injury attorney to discuss available compensation options and next steps. These injuries can have long-term or even permanent consequences, and you will likely need funds for living expenses, lost wages, medical costs and pain and suffering.