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How To Recognize Signs Of Serious Brain Injury

How To Recognize Signs Of Serious Brain Injury

After a severe accident, you could have a variety of injuries. One of the most severe and potentially life-changing is a brain injury, which is often devastating and expensive to treat. This article describes signs of a severe brain injury, and if you have legal questions about an accident case, our Inland Empire personal injury attorney can answer them today.

How Common Are Serious Brain Injuries After Accidents?

The CDC reports that motor vehicle crashes are the #2 cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. Auto accidents comprise approximately 24% of hospitalizations for severe brain injuries annually.

Unfortunately, the CDC’s numbers might underestimate the severity of the brain injury problem. The CDC states that their numbers do not include serious brain injuries that receive treatment in ERs, urgent care facilities, and doctors’ offices. Even worse, sometimes they may go undiagnosed because the injured person shrugs off headaches or dizziness as normal.

What Are Common Signs Of Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries are challenging to recover from after a car accident. There are many symptoms, depending on the injury’s severity. Serious brain injury symptoms may appear in the first minutes after the crash. Or symptoms might take days or weeks to manifest. Even a relatively minor car accident can cause a disabling brain injury. Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury could include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Problems with balance
  • Dizziness
  • Lapses in memory
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Changes in mood
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems

Accident victims with moderate or severe brain injury could fall unconscious after the accident. Some signs of severe brain injuries are:

  • Headaches that worsen with time
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble waking from sleep
  • Extreme confusion
  • Coma
  • Clear fluid coming from the ears
  • Difficulty with coordinating movements
  • Behavior changes

Also, a severe brain injury can have more subtle symptoms. For example, many accident victims have mental problems in the days and weeks after the accident that could be hard to connect to the incident. They could have difficulty concentrating and making good judgments. Concentrating could be compromised, and engaging in problem-solving, multitasking, and planning could be difficult.

A person with a severe brain injury could have verbal and written communication challenges and difficulty understanding body language. They could also need help understanding when and how to begin and end conversations.

Remember, anyone in a car accident is at risk of a severe brain injury, including young children and infants who may be unable to describe their symptoms. Parents should be alert for changes in nursing or eating, as well as odd behavior after the accident, such as constant crying and irritability. Also, kids who sleep too much or not enough or suffer seizures and mood changes also should be checked for severe brain injuries.

Types Of Brain Injury

There are two basic types of brain injury: primary and secondary. A primary brain injury is a profound, sudden injury to the head and brain that is essentially complete at the time of injury. A primary brain injury is common in serious car accidents, gunshot wounds, and falls.

A secondary brain injury means changes over time, such as hours or days, after the initial brain injury. The secondary injury involves many chemical, tissue, cellular, or blood vessel changes in the brain tissue, leading to further damage.

Brain injury from an accident can happen in two ways. The first is a closed brain injury with a non-penetrating injury with no skull fracture. This injury happens because of the strong forward and backward shaking or movement of the brain in the skull, possibly causing brain tissue tearing and bruising. For example, severe brain bruising and bleeding could occur in a serious car accident when the head strikes the windshield or driver’s side window.

The second is a penetrating brain injury. This injury happens when there is a penetration of the skull and brain, such as if a bullet or piece of metal penetrates the brain.

Actions To Take With A Serious Brain Injury

If you suspect you or a loved one has a severe brain injury after an accident, consider the matter an emergency. A severe TBI will worsen if it is not treated, so you should have a medical professional check the person over immediately.

Doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine if there has been a brain injury and the severity of the damage. This is a 15-point test; the higher the score, the less severe the injury. The doctor may order an MRI or CT scan at the hospital to check for brain damage.

For your health, it is vital to have immediate medical attention after an accident where a brain injury is suspected. This is vital to your health and recovery. Also, medical records may be vital to a potential personal injury claim or lawsuit, so a person with a brain injury should have a doctor look them over immediately after the incident.

Potential Compensation For A Serious Head Injury

If your Inland Empire personal injury attorney proves that someone’s negligence caused your brain injury, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Unfortunately, brain injuries are expensive and time-consuming to treat, and just the initial medical bills could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you need long-term medical care and rehabilitation, the medical expenses could run into seven figures.

Few Americans have the financial resources to pay for ongoing medical expenses for severe brain injuries. You should ask an experienced brain injury attorney to review your case as part of a no-obligation free consultation. If the attorney thinks you have a case that could result in compensation, they will let you know. You have nothing to lose by scheduling an appointment for a free consultation with an attorney that may be able to fight for your rights to receive compensation in a personal injury claim.

Contact Our Inland Empire Personal Injury Attorney For Legal Assistance

Did you or someone you love suffer a brain injury because of someone’s negligence? A victim of negligence should not be saddled with medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering without compensation. Our Inland Empire personal injury attorney at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. may be able to help today, so call (888) 883-6588 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a lawyer.