Ensure your future health is not at risk after a car wreck by knowing that injuries go far more than skin deep. When in a car accident (regardless of if it’s with another vehicle or just an object), typically you want to seek medical help and assessment to ensure you are not gravely injured.
Luckily, if you or anyone involved in a wreck has contacted the police then there is a good chance that a paramedic (a “first response type” medical professional specifically trained in temporarily stabilizing someone injured or sick so that they may be transported to a hospital) will arrive on site and check out anyone injured. It is a good practice to submit to a paramedic’s brief assessment and to allow them to transport you or otherwise have someone directly escort you to a hospital or other medical facility. It is important to maintain strong evidence of direct causation of injuries by not stopping anywhere or fir anytime in between the scene of accident and medical care if possible.
Immediately upon leaving the scene of an accident your first priority should be getting to a hospital or urgent care facility that can fully check out and document ALL of your injuries; not just the topical/aesthetic ones with a brief physical evaluation, but also the deeper damages that can occur internally to your organs, skeletal structure, muscle groups, and all else via the traditional medical external and internal assessments and imaging.
During an automotive accident, quite often the head of drivers and/or passengers is struck— sometimes by an airbag, on the windshield, against a head rest, into the ceiling, against another occupant, or any other possibility.
In these situations it’s is extremely important while in the care of the doctor’s to ensure they are clearly aware of your head being struck and to request the necessary testing and treatment for a possible Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs directly from any strike or jolt to the head— it can result from ANY accident involving blunt force trauma to the head— typical of car and bike accidents, sporting injuries, or even slip and falls. A common (but incorrect) practice is to think of a TBI solely as a serious head injury involving the rest of a lifetime of treatment; however, more often than not, TBI’s tend to be a much more subtle injury that’s not so simply detectable.
Many professionals have bestowed the moniker of “the invisible injury” upon TBIs for two reasons: (1) they’re quite often difficult to detect even with the advances in modern imaging equipment and (2) the symptoms have a delayed onset— that is they may not be evident for days, weeks, or even months following the event.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that even the mildest forms of TBI aren’t to be taken seriously. All too often unfortunately these eventual symptoms show up from such a mild occurrence and remain chronic (lasting the remainder of a patients’s life). The longer one awaits a delay in diagnosis, often the more persistent and sometimes irreversible the symptoms can be.
Anytime you may have experienced a concussion, you run the risk of also having experienced a mild TBI. The following is a partial list of symptoms (according to the Mayo Clinic) which, if experienced after a blow to the head, should lead to suspicions of a TBI having occurred and should be checked out:
Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.
Mild traumatic brain injury
The signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Cognitive or mental symptoms
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
Cognitive or mental symptoms
- Profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Coma and other disorders of consciousness
If after an accident (in which you experienced any force delivered by anything to your head) and you feel or suspect you may have a TBI you should immediately schedule a doctor’s appointment—even if you do not feel any current symptoms anymore
If you think you may have received a TBI and and need help getting a follow-up doctors appointment, contacting one of our Houston-based personal injury attorneys at The Tran Law Group can increase your chances of recovering the just due compensation from any and all liable parties.