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Drivers often overlook the signs of brain injury after a wreck

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2022 | Car Accidents

It takes a few seconds to reorient yourself after a car crash. People often experience a brief moment of disassociation where they can’t remember what just happened or make sense of the noises and sights around them.

As soon as you start comprehending the situation, you will probably start evaluating yourself for injury. You may feel relief when you realize that you can move all of your arms and legs or support your weight when you try to exit the vehicle. After all, that probably means that you don’t have a spinal cord injury or a broken bone.

What you may not realize when evaluating yourself is that you won’t notice the signs of some injuries after a crash and may not have symptoms for several days. You will likely need a doctor to check you for warning signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Why can’t people notice their own brain injuries?

There are two main factors that make TBIs hard for people to diagnose in themselves. The first is the delayed onset of symptoms. It may be several days or even more than a week before you notice any signs of an injury. Even if the brain injury is serious enough to cause same-day symptoms, you may not notice the issue right at the scene of the crash, as your body’s reaction to the trauma may mask your pain symptoms temporarily.

The second reason people struggle to identify warning signs of a brain injury is that those signs are completely different from person to person and case to case. The location of the injury and your unique neurology will influence what symptoms you experience. From ringing in the ears and persistent nausea to worsening headaches, changes in personality and trouble sleeping, symptoms of a TBI can affect everything from your motor function to your behavior, making it hard to identify medical issues as possible brain injury symptoms.

How seeing a doctor helps

Medical professionals know exactly how to evaluate you for signs of a TBI. From performing physical tests on your body to ordering imaging tests to look for bleeding on the brain, there are many diagnostic tools that can help medical professionals quickly determine if you have a brain injury.

The sooner you see a doctor for diagnostic support, the sooner you can get treatment that will reduce your symptoms and possibly prevent the injury from getting worse. Seeing a doctor shortly after a crash will also help you show to the insurance companies or the courts that there is a direct relationship between your injury and the wreck.

Pursuing compensation for a brain injury can help you get medical care and replace lost wages that result from hurting your head in a car crash.