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It was just a fender-bender, so how could you have TBI?

Let us say your car was struck from behind at low speed when you stopped at a light. There was very little damage, and you felt OK after the accident.

However, a few hours later, you developed a headache and felt a bit dizzy. You went to the doctor promptly, and her traumatic brain injury diagnosis was stunning. How could this happen?

Bumping your head

There are two forms of TBIs: open and closed. The open form occurs when an object penetrates the skull, then lodges in the brain. The more common closed form results from a blow to the head. This is what happened to you. Despite the low speed, when the pickup hit your car, the impact caused your head to snap backward and forward. You struck your forehead on the steering wheel with just enough force to cause a closed head injury. At the time, you felt nothing more alarming than the momentary pain of a bump. However, brain injury symptoms do not always appear at the time of an accident. They may not show up for hours, as in your case, or possibly not for days.

Red flags

In addition to headaches and dizziness, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include, among others:

  •         Confusion
  •         Drowsiness or fatigue
  •         Blurred vision
  •         Ringing in the ears
  •         Sensitivity to noise or light
  •         Memory issues
  •         Sleep problems
  •         Mood or personality changes

Recovering from TBI

You are beginning to come to terms with the fact that you sustained a serious head injury during a minor accident. Your doctor explains that a brain injury can cause you to forget some of the skills you have used and taken for granted all your life. Therefore, you will enter rehabilitation so you can relearn those skills. Fortunately, once your condition stabilizes, your brain cells will go to work repairing themselves, and rehab helps this process along. Meanwhile, explore your legal options. While you concentrate on your recovery, you can depend on an advocate who understands your situation and can work on your behalf to secure the appropriate insurance compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and more.