There are certain injuries that are obvious immediately after a crash. Someone with a gash in their forehead will bleed profusely, making it clear that they will require medical evaluation and stitches. Someone with a bad fracture may not be able to lift themselves out of the vehicle because of a broken arm or stand because of a broken leg.
Other injuries don’t seem obvious after a crash but can still have life-altering consequences for the people involved in the wreck. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be one of the most expensive injuries possible in a car crash, and they are also very easy for people to overlook.
How do people miss catastrophic crash injuries, like a TBI?
Unlike a fracture, a traumatic brain injury may not have instant symptoms after a collision. The bruising or bleeding inside the skull may need to continue for quite some time before the damage it causes (or the pressure it produces) leads to noticeable symptoms.
Even then, each brain injury may present in a unique fashion, which can make it difficult for the average motorist to check themselves or their passengers for a TBI. Symptoms of a brain injury include:
- A temporary loss of consciousness
- A persistent sense of nausea
- Worsening headaches
- Sleep disturbances or difficulty waking in the morning
- Changes in mood or personality
- Issues with sensory perception
- Challenges with motor function or balance
- Memory issues.
Someone may notice one or two of these symptoms shortly after the crash but only start to worry when more severe symptoms present later. A timely diagnosis by a medical professional can protect someone from progressive symptoms and make it easier to pursue insurance claims. Recognizing the warning signs of a car crash injury can help people connect with the support available through insurance and the civil courts.