Imagine this scenario in your mind: You are on your way to work in Costa Mesa after leaving the house an hour earlier than usual to avoid rush hour traffic. Suddenly, another vehicle broadsides your car while you are driving through an intersection. You check yourself and passengers for injuries. Everyone seems fine. But did you know that any of you could have a traumatic brain injury?
Brain injuries are widespread in car accidents. In motor vehicle collisions, the brain is forcefully thrust against the skull upon impact. The human skull does not need to be fractured or penetrated by an object to experience trauma.
Symptoms that are common with brain injuries
Severe bruising, swelling and bleeding from the pressure inside the skull can also cause extensive trauma. Some signs of brain injury are immediately apparent. Victims may experience:
- Short-term amnesia
- Vision problems
- Neck pain
It is not easy to detect brain injuries, especially severe trauma. Sometimes, car accident victims believe they are okay because they did not lose consciousness, but brain trauma is still possible. Emergency medical responders assess them for signs of obvious trauma and clear them. It is very common for some individuals to develop delayed car accident injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries may not be obvious
Traumatic brain injuries can develop immediately and after several hours, days and months. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include long-term memory loss, personality changes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, impaired cognitive performance and seizures. Minor to mild brain trauma does not always warrant the need for ongoing medical attention, as the damage usually heals within several weeks. However, severe and traumatic brain injuries can be permanent and fatal if untreated.
Any kind of trauma to the head and brain can cause long-term damage and permanent disability. Anyone who is in a motor vehicle collision should not decline medical attention from emergency medical responders. Instead, they should also follow up with a physician to rule out delayed and serious brain trauma. Motor vehicle victims who end up with life-threatening injuries and their family members have legal options to help them receive the compensation they are entitled to.