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Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury After a Car Accident

The x-ray of the human brain.

Head and brain injuries can have a profound impact on crash victims.

Car accidents frequently result in severe injuries, with traumatic brain injury (TBI) being one of the most common and serious outcomes. Recognizing the warning signs of TBI is crucial for prompt diagnosis and treatment. But what exactly should you be on the lookout for? Additionally, how do medical professionals diagnose TBI, and what treatment options are available for those who sustain brain injuries in car accidents? The Delaware car accident attorneys at Gill, Welsh, and Chamberlain, P.A. explain what to know.

How common are car accident brain injuries?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents consistently rank among the top five causes of traumatic brain injuries each year. Specifically, motor vehicle accidents account for 14 percent of all brain injuries, as indicated by another CDC study. To grasp the significance of these statistics, consider that over 3.5 million brain injuries occur annually nationwide, as reported by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). Based on these figures, it's estimated that approximately 490,000 individuals sustain a brain injury each year in the United States as a result of a car accident.

Among the most common types of TBIs sustained in car accidents are concussions, contusions, and diffuse axonal injuries. Skull fractures are another significant type of TBI, ranging from hairline fractures to more severe fractures that penetrate the skull and pose a risk of brain injury or intracranial hemorrhage.

What are the warning signs and symptoms of a TBI?

Recognizing the warning signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury after a car accident is crucial for seeking timely medical attention. Here are some key indicators to watch out for:

  • Dizziness and poor balance: Feeling unsteady on your feet or experiencing difficulty maintaining balance could indicate a TBI, especially if it persists or worsens over time.
  • Frequent, severe headaches: Persistent and intense headaches, particularly those that do not respond to over-the-counter medication, may signal underlying brain trauma.
  • Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights: Heightened sensitivity to auditory or visual stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights, can be indicative of neurological disturbances commonly associated with TBI.
  • Difficulty waking up from a deep sleep: If you struggle to wake up from a deep sleep or find it unusually challenging to stay awake after a car accident, it could be a warning sign of brain injury.
  • Memory loss: TBI can affect both short-term and long-term memory, leading to difficulty recalling recent events or past experiences. Memory loss following a car accident should not be overlooked.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Persistent nausea or episodes of vomiting, particularly when accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness or headaches, may indicate neurological disruption associated with TBI.

Other warning signs of TBI may include confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, changes in mood or behavior, seizures, numbness or weakness in extremities, and loss of coordination. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms after a car accident, seeking an immediate medical evaluation is essential to assess and address potential brain injury.

How do doctors diagnose a car accident brain injury?

When assessing a potential brain injury following a car accident, doctors may use various diagnostic methods to accurately identify and evaluate the extent of neurological damage. Common approaches include utilizing MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans to visualize the brain's structure and detect any abnormalities or injuries. Cognitive tests are often administered to assess memory, speech, and other cognitive functions, providing valuable insights into the brain's overall health and functioning.

Evaluating eye movements, speech patterns, and motor skills can further aid in diagnosing brain injuries, as these assessments help gauge neurological impairments and deficits. In some cases, blood tests may be conducted to assess biomarkers associated with brain trauma, providing additional diagnostic information. By utilizing a combination of these diagnostic tools and techniques, doctors can accurately diagnose and effectively manage car accident-related brain injuries, facilitating timely and appropriate treatment interventions.

What medical treatments exist for brain injuries?

Treatments for brain injuries can cover a wide range depending on what type of brain injury you sustained and the severity of your TBI. Such medical treatments may include:

  • Rest and monitoring: Following a brain injury, it's crucial to rest and be closely monitored, particularly during the initial 48 to 72 hours. This allows medical professionals to assess your condition and intervene promptly if necessary.
  • Emergency medical care: In severe cases of brain injury, emergency medical care may be required. This can involve administering additional oxygen and blood to the brain, stabilizing vital signs, and, in some instances, performing emergency surgery to address life-threatening complications.
  • Prescription medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage symptoms associated with brain injury, such as pain, inflammation, seizures, or mood disturbances. These medications aim to alleviate discomfort and promote healing.
  • Brain surgery: In cases of severe traumatic brain injury, surgical intervention may be necessary to relieve pressure on the brain, remove blood clots or hemorrhages, repair damaged tissue, or address skull fractures. Brain surgery is often lifesaving and can mitigate the risk of long-term complications.
  • Follow-up care: For individuals with severe TBIs, ongoing monitoring and follow-up care are essential. This may involve additional surgeries, rehabilitation therapies, or specialized interventions to optimize recovery and minimize long-term disability.

Seeking legal help for a TBI after a car accident

At Gill, Welsh, and Chamberlain, P.A., our team of Delaware car accident lawyers is committed to fighting for the rights of TBI victims. With years of experience handling various cases involving serious injuries from car accidents, we understand the nuances of such claims. When you choose our law firm, you can trust that your case will receive the dedicated attention it deserves. Get a law firm that will stand up for your rights. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation today.

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