Imagine you are in a severe car accident. You can get out of the car without any significant pain and assess the damage to your vehicle and the other driver. They ask if you want to go to the hospital, but you don't think you have any injuries. What do you say?
Sometimes, it takes time for injuries to show themselves, especially for a brain injury. You need to know what the signs of an injury are and when to go to the doctor.
Subtle symptoms of a concussion
Across the country and here in Pennsylvania, there has been an increased awareness of concussions and the symptoms that occur. From professional sports down to the youth level, protocols have been enacted to mitigate possible long-term implications due to this national trend. As a result, we are seeing a significant increase in the mention of these injuries in car crashes we handle on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. There are visible signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) immediately after a crash such as loss of consciousness or a dazed or confused state. However, there are subtle signs that may appear hours, days or weeks after an incident:
- Difficulty sleeping - After a stressful event, it's not surprising you may lose a few hours of sleep. However, if you are consistently not sleeping, it is a severe sign of a serious injury. The same is true if you cannot wake yourself up from sleeping or sleep more than usual. Your sleeping schedule says so much about how your body is reacting to stress or other injuries.
- Dizziness or loss of coordination - If you experience a loss of balance or dizziness a few days after an accident, it may be a mild brain injury. If you have lost coordination completely, seek immediate medical attention.
- Problems with speech - You may stutter or misspeak at times, so it doesn't necessarily mean there is a medical issue. However, if you are finding consistent difficulty in speaking or slurring your speech, it's a sign of a moderate to severe brain injury.
- Headaches - Pain in the head often indicates more than what we believe. You might blame caffeine, dehydration or a lack of sleep for your head pain, but a brain injury often produces frequent headaches or severe migraines depending the severity of the injury.
- Mood changes - After a traumatic crash, most people expect to feel more anxious or depressed. However, if you find your depression or anxiety lasts weeks after an incident, it may be a factor in a physical problem, such as TBIs.
It's crucial to see a doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms appearing. The faster you can receive medical treatment, the less severe the effects will be on your body. Often patients understate or down play their symptoms. It is often the spouse or child that reports the true extent of the symptoms.
Visiting the hospital or doctor after a crash is an intimidating experience. Many people are confused because your own insurance company in the one who pays the medical bills. Under this "no-fault" system the driver that caused the crash only pays later. The attorneys at Martson Law Offices are experienced at guiding our clients through the recovery process to ensure they receive the proper medical treatment and full compensation for all their losses.