As the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you run the risk of receiving traumatic brain damage. From a minor fender bender to a more serious collision, brain damage can occur in any type of accident.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain damage in the U.S. It is important to know how to identify the signs of a traumatic injury and what to do if you should get one.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
The sudden force of an impact can cause your head to whip back and forth, hit the steering wheel or knock into the side window. Since your brain tissue sits suspended in fluid within the skull cavity, such a force can cause the brain to hit against the hard skull bone. Depending on the severity of the impact, the brain tissue may become bruised, inflamed, torn and bloody as a result.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of a brain injury may vary depending on what area of the brain is affected. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, common symptoms of a brain injury may include the following:
- Persistent headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble hearing, seeing or speaking
- Muscle weakness and tingling in the extremities
- Trouble remembering, planning and organizing thoughts or ideas
Severe brain damage may result in seizures, convulsions, slurred speech and long-term damage.
It is critical to seek medical treatment right away after an accident, as some TBI symptoms may take days or weeks to appear. When medical professionals can get to the injury quickly, they can often stop further damage from occurring.