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Could your headaches after a car crash signal a head injury?

With so much traffic in Southern California, vehicle crashes are common, especially rear-end collisions. Many people walk away from this kind of crash and go about their business—but is this wise?

Vehicle accidents account for most traumatic brain injuries, and delayed symptoms such as headaches could be the first sign of trouble. Prompt medical attention should be your next step even after a minor collision.

A common scenario

Perhaps you have stopped at a traffic light when another driver strikes your car from behind. You are now the victim of a rear-end collision. The sudden jolt causes you to hit your head on the steering wheel. After checking yourself for injuries, you decide that all is well except for the bump that is already beginning to blossom on your forehead.

Two forms of TBI

There are two kinds of traumatic brain injury. The open form occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Closed TBI is the much more common form and results from a blow to the head. Even a low-speed collision, like the one you experienced, can cause mild brain trauma, which, in turn, can result in long-term memory and thinking issues.

The brain injury recovery process

Put simply, brain trauma scrambles cognitive processes. However, damaged brain cells start to heal themselves once post-injury stabilization occurs. In fact, the healthier areas of the brain will take on some of the functions of the damaged areas. This is good news, but people with brain injuries often must relearn certain skills through a rehabilitation program. All brain injury survivors face various kinds of medical issues that will endure, but they also learn how to compensate for whatever impairments will continue throughout life.

Legal options

If a medical evaluation confirms that your headaches resulted from a brain injury you sustained in the rear-end collision, explore your legal options without delay. Filing an insurance claim can be complicated. However, having an advocate on your side to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf will allow you to concentrate on recovery and the work you need to do in rehabilitation.

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