Head Injuries Are Common In Car Accidents
Over one-half of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States are caused by motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, many accident victims may not be aware they have suffered a brain injury in a car accident because symptoms may not present themselves for days or weeks after an accident. The damage from a head injury can result in permanent, life-altering disabilities. If you are in an automobile accident, it is always in your best interest to seek medical attention, especially if you suspect you may have suffered any type of head injury.
What is a Closed Head Injury?
A closed head injury occurs when something suddenly strikes the skull causing the brain to move within the skull striking the skull in various places. It can also occur if the head is suddenly jerked causing the brain to move violently within the skull. This can easily occur in a car accident if the head strikes the windshield, steering wheel, or other object. It can also occur because the car suddenly stops causing the head to snap back and forth. The brain “bounces” around within the skull causing damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and brain tissue.
Concussions can be caused by closed head injuries. While most people who suffer concussions recover fully from the injury, approximately 15% of concussion victims continue to have symptoms more than a year after the accident. The symptoms of a concussion can cripple a person and prevent that person from performing daily tasks. Because a closed head injury does not show any outward signs of trauma, many people believe they are “okay” after a car accident. It is not until much later that they realize they are not okay.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Suffered a Head Injury?
If you are in a car accident, it is extremely important that you take the following steps even if you feel “okay” immediately after the accident.
Number One: Seek Medical Attention
If you have any of the following symptoms, it is crucial you seek medical attention immediately:
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Feeling dazed or confused
- Loss of memory
Number Two: Medical Tests
The doctor in the emergency room will require medical tests to determine if you have suffered a closed head injury. Medical tests that can help determine the extent of your head injury include MRI, CT scan, and neurological tests.
Number Three: Rest
As you recover from a brain injury, rest is very important. Rest allows your brain to heal. Avoid watching television, reading, listening to music, working, and other activities that require concentration. Allow yourself time to heal before you return to your normal activities.
Number Four: Continue to Watch for Symptoms
Continue to watch for symptoms of a concussion and/or head injury. Seek immediate medical attention if you continue to experience symptoms or your symptoms become worse. Waiting to see a doctor can increase your risk of developing permanent disabilities.
Number Five: Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. You should not bear the financial burden of paying for expensive medical treatments for an accident caused by another person. A personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your right to receive compensation for a head injury. The attorneys of The Olinde Firm are here to help you while you focus on your recovery.