Most people understand that there's a risk involved with getting into a motor vehicle. In the wake of an unexpected accident, people are often grateful just to walk away from the accident. After checking their limbs, they believe they are mostly unhurt, just a little shaken and bruised. These people may quickly move on with their day-to-day lives without realizing how serious their injuries really are.
When people think of catastrophic injuries from car accidents, they often imagine spinal injuries or broken bones. Fewer people really understand the potential for life-changing consequences when someone's head gets hit or shaken badly. Blunt trauma, penetrating injuries or sudden and abrupt shaking can all result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have effects that last for years or even for life.
Traumatic brain injuries can take a while to develop symptoms
One reason people often assume they are fine after an accident that damaged their brains is that TBIs often take a while to start presenting concerning symptoms. Initial symptoms can seem mild. These include headaches, disorientation, nausea or temporary loss of consciousness.
Many people who strike their heads in crashes ignore these early signs. In reality, they could all be symptoms of a TBI, which will only get worse over time if it goes untreated. With no where to go, blood from bruising and swollen tissue will put pressure on the brain, causing all kinds of symptoms.
Any time someone takes a blow to the head or gets jostled strongly, there's potential for brain injury. When there's loss of consciousness, even for a second, that potential increases. Anyone who strikes their head in an accident or passes out should seek medical attention immediately. If it's nothing serious, a doctor can advise the person to rest. If there's potential for serious swelling or bruising of the brain, a doctor can usually determine that and take steps to prevent worsening symptoms.
Brain injuries can impact a victim's ability to work
Everything about who you are and what you do comes from your brain. Your memories, your motor skills, even your ability to laugh with friends is tied to the healthy function of your brain. After sustaining a TBI, many people experience issues with cognition and memory. Those symptoms alone could make it difficult or even dangerous for someone with a TBI to return to work right away.
Sometimes, the injury can result in permanent memory loss or even a change in emotional regulation or personality. Issues with vision and other senses, as well as struggles with fine and gross motor control are all possible. While certain symptoms may go away after a while as the swelling or bruising goes down, other symptoms may persist. Sometimes, that can mean a TBI results in permanent disability and an inability to work.