Brain Injury Symptoms Checklist For Car Accident Victims
There is no such thing as a minor brain injury. However, when there is a major blow, or external force, to the head, it can cause a traumatic brain injury. This is true even when the skull has not been fractured. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are very difficult to recover from. Recovery times are very long and can carry great financial costs, as well.
Adding to the difficulty of traumatic brain injuries is the fact that the victims do not always realize they have suffered this type of injury. Identifying this type of injury is very difficult, even for many emergency room doctors. In order to determine that a brain injury has been sustained in order to get proper treatment, there are questions accident victims can ask themselves and symptoms they can look for.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
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Even the symptoms of a head injury can be difficult to detect. Some may take longer to present themselves, while others may be present from the start of the injury. Those who are present immediately however, may still be difficult to detect.
Headaches are a common symptom of a traumatic brain injury. These are often different than a typical headache that may come from stress or other factors. When a headache has been caused by a traumatic brain injury, they often start behind the eyes or at the forehead. Headaches that begin at the top of the skull, at the temples, or even at the base of the skull may also be caused by a traumatic brain injury. These headaches are typically hard to treat with over-the-counter medications and tend to last longer than other types of headaches.
Sensory sensitivity can also be a symptom of traumatic brain injuries. One of the most common symptoms is being sensitive to light, even when the lights are not that bright. Tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears, and a loss of balance or coordination may also indicate that a traumatic brain injury has been suffered. A traumatic brain injury can also affect the way a person tastes and smells food. Often, this injury will cause food to taste and smell to take on a metallic quality.
The brain is also the center of a person’s emotions. When it has been injured, individuals may also find that they experience emotional or behavioral changes. Of course, being in an accident such as a car accident is a traumatic experience and it is natural to be emotional afterwards. If after time however, a person is still very agitated, has withdrawn socially, or is experiencing nightmares or irrational fears, they could be suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Of course, any damage that affects the brain will also affect a person’s cognitive functions. Trouble remembering details, concentrating, or remaining focused on a single task are all very common symptoms seen in those suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
The Questions to Ask if You Suspect a Head Injury
By simply asking a few questions, it may be easier for an accident victim to identify a traumatic brain injury to get the help they need. Those who think they may have suffered this type of injury after an accident should ask themselves the questions below to determine if they need medical attention.
- What happened just before the accident?
- How were you injured upon impact?
- What happened immediately after the accident?
- Did you hit your head during the accident?
- What did you hit your head on – the steering wheel, the dashboard, something else inside the car?
- How did you feel after the accident? Were you groggy, or confused?
- Was there any nausea or vomiting after the accident?
- Were you extremely tired immediately following the accident? What about two hours after the accident?
- Did you find yourself going to bed very early the same night the accident occurred?
- Are you experiencing emotional outbursts, such as crying spells, that were not typical before the accident?
- Did you become withdrawn from family and friends after the accident?
- Do you find it difficult to become motivated? Even to perform the simplest of tasks?
- Have there been any changes in your sleeping patterns? Are you experiencing nightmares or night terrors?
- Are you having any flashbacks of the accident?
- Has there been any change in your appetite? Does food taste and smell the same as it once did?
- Do you have any fears that can be considered unusual or irrational that you did not have before the accident?
- Do you find it difficult to remember things? Are you finding you can only remember them if you write them down or create a checklist?
- Are you finding it difficult to stay focused?
- Are you having trouble concentrating?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions can be indicative that a TBI has occurred. However, because these injuries can be so difficult to detect, even those not experiencing these symptoms may be suffering from this type of injury. For this reason, anyone experiencing unusual symptoms such as changes in their behavior or ability to function should speak to a doctor right away.
A traumatic brain injury attorney should also be made aware of any symptoms that may indicate a traumatic brain injury. When patients speak to doctors alone, these symptoms are too often brushed off as being due to another injury when that may not be the case. An attorney will be familiar with the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and can help any individual suffering from one as they speak to healthcare professionals.
Speak to a Long Island Brain Injury Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in an accident and think you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, do not try to get through it on your own. Call the traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP or visit us online to learn how we can help. We know how serious these injuries can be. We also understand the long road of recovery accident victims typically face after sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Get in touch today so we can start reviewing your case and help you get any compensation to which you may be entitled. Call today for your free consultation at 516-358-6900.