You will likely be as aware as anyone else that car accidents happen at any time, to anyone, regardless of how much care the driver takes. Sharing the busy Texas roads with thousands of other vehicles, many of which are big rigs and other oil-field-related transport, is not for the faint-hearted. Sadly, your compliance with the rules of the road does not guarantee your safety.
There is an endless list of potential injuries that you could suffer in a crash, of which brain injuries possibly cause the most concern. This might be because brain injuries are often not immediately evident, and when symptoms do present, they are often not linked to the car accident.
Types of traumatic brain injuries
Automobile accidents cause different types of brain injuries, and the type and severity typically depend on factors such as the speed at which the crash happened, the location of the impact, whether the occupants of the vehicle wore seat belts and where they sat. The following traumatic brain injuries can happen even without penetration of the skull:
- Penetration: This is the most obvious sign of potential brain injuries, and as the name suggests, it involves an object penetrating the skull and the brain.
- Concussion: This is the most common type of brain injury, typically resulting from whiplash that causes rapid head and neck movement. Brain trauma occurs when the sudden momentum causes the brain to slam into the skull, and many people wrongly regard concussion as a minor injury.
- Contusion: This injury involves bruising of your brain, but it is significantly more serious than external contusions that result from a bump to your shin or another body part. You may even require surgical intervention to treat a brain contusion.
- Diffuse Axonal: Rapid, strong rotational movements of the head cause a more severe form of concussion known as diffuse axonal injury.
- Coup-Contrecoup: This injury refers to the shaken brain smashing into two opposite sides of the skull, thereby causing contusions, first on the one side and then on the opposite side as it returns with force.
Treatment depends on the severity of the traumatic brain injury, and it could even include removing the top of the skull to relieve excessive swelling in the constricted space.
Symptoms for which to look out
Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can be subtle or severe, and knowing for what to look out might help you to recognize telltale signs and get prompt treatment. After a car accident, you could experience any or all of the following symptoms:
- Unconsciousness: Not everybody experiences unconsciousness after the crash, but if you do, the length of time that you are unconscious can determine the severity of the TBI, and you can also experience seizures afterward.
- Other physical symptoms: Look out for uneven or dilated pupils, which can go along with balance or coordination problems, numbness in your extremities and feelings of extreme exhaustion. You might become sensitive to light and sound, and suffer headaches and nausea.
- Cognitive and emotional symptoms: If you feel confused and find that your thinking and responses have slowed, it might indicate TBI. If you feel less alert than usual, and struggle to concentrate, dealing with your emotions can be difficult.
It is not a good idea to disregard any of these symptoms, as the consequences of traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering.
You can recover medical expenses
If another driver’s negligence caused your traumatic brain injuries, you might have grounds to pursue claims for financial relief. However, navigating the Texas civil justice system is not an easy task, and an experienced personal injury attorney might be the best person to deal with it. Having skilled legal counsel in your corner will improve your chances of recovering financial losses and pain and suffering already sustained, and those that will follow in the future.