Motor vehicle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Damage such as broken bones, lacerations and amputation can be readily apparent. A traumatic brain injury, however, might have symptoms that take hours or days to appear. In some situations, it is the family and friends of the victim who first notice the changes.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a mild TBI (mTBI) – often referred to as a concussion – both typically indicate functional damage to the brain rather than structural. The symptoms can vary greatly from individual to individual. Additionally, the symptoms themselves can vary in duration and severity. Even an individual who feels fine after a vehicle collision should see a medical professional who can run a range of neurological tests.
While no two concussions are the same, they often share common symptoms. Typically, symptoms of concussion can fall into three categories:
- Physical symptoms: These refer to objective changes or a measurable loss of function. The symptoms can include dizziness, headache, fatigue, sleep disturbances, blurry vision, loss of consciousness and tinnitus.
- Cognitive symptoms: These refer specifically the brain’s function. Victims can suffer from poor concentration, confusion, memory problems and mental sluggishness.
- Emotional symptoms: These refer to the behavioral changes an injured individual might struggle with. Many times, the victim’s close friends and family members might notice these types of personality/mood changes. The symptoms can include sadness, depression, anxiousness and irritability.
A TBI, by definition, is more severe than an mTBI. While they share many of the same types of symptoms, the victim might suffer with a more significant version. For example, poor concentration might become loss of short term memory and headaches might become chronic migraines. As was stated, these symptoms might not appear for quite some time after the vehicle accident. It is important that an individual seek medical treatment as soon as possible to receive a comprehensive series of diagnostic tests that leads to an effective course of treatment.
Discuss your motor vehicle accident with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide the guidance you need.