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Signs of Brain Injury After a Car Accident

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. The trauma of a car accident head injury can be especially frightening, as injuries to the brain can cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. There are a number of signs of brain injury you can look for to see if you might be suffering from one and need to seek brain injury treatment as a result.

Traumatic Brain Injury Facts

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that damages the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can occur when the body has been suddenly jolted, struck, or bumped, including when the skull is penetrated. Someone with a penetrating injury should immediately seek medical attention. Closed-head TBI’s occur when there is a lack of this penetration, and it can be more difficult to determine if a brain injury is present in these cases.

Depending on the severity, TBI’s can have mild to serious complications, including comma, vegetative state, neurological disorders, and death. The likelihood of more severe complications increases if traumatic brain injuries are left untreated by a medical professional.

In some cases, evidence of moderate or severe TBI will be present immediately after the accident. In others, the initial symptoms might take hours or days to appear. The symptoms experienced can also change over time, with headaches being a common early symptom and changes in emotion often appearing later on, possibly weeks after the initial trauma.

Consult this list to see if you should potentially seek brain injury treatment for a TBI.

Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild TBI’s usually affects the brain cells temporarily and can improve over time. Symptoms of a mild brain injury may appear in a number of ways: physical, mental, and emotional.

Brain Injury After a Car Accident Brooklyn NY

Physical Symptoms

A person suffering from head injuries associated with TBI may experience dizziness or trouble with balance. They may be affected by headaches. Noise and light may bother them, and difficulty with vision may occur. Early on, vomiting and nausea can also be present.

Tinnitus or a ringing in the ears might occur. A sign of a TBI may be a bad taste in the mouth. It also may become difficult to smell.

Those suffering from a mild car accident brain injury may also experience changes in sleeping habits. Feeling especially tired and a lack of energy may result in a person suffering from a mild TBI to sleep more than they typically do. Others might have a hard time falling asleep or might begin sleeping less than they normally did.

Mental Symptoms

Mental signs of an acquired brain injury may include problems with concentration or attention. Someone suffering from a TBI may feel sluggish in their thinking or have trouble thinking clearly. Feelings of grogginess or fogginess may be present. They may also suffer from difficulties with short- or long-term memory.

Emotional Symptoms

Unlike many other kinds of traumatic injuries, TBI’s can cause emotional difficulties. These include experiencing an unusual amount of anxiety or nervousness. Those suffering from a car accident brain injury may feel easily irritated or angered, and they may experience feelings of sadness or depression. Feeling more emotional in general can be an indicator that a TBI may be present.

Signs of Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Some TBI’s may require emergency medical care as extremely dangerous and potentially deadly blood clots can develop. They may also result in the tissue being torn, bleeding in the brain, and bruising. More serious injuries can cause long-term complications or be fatal. The danger signs of brain injury may differ between adults and children.

Woman having asthma attack or choking can't breath suffering from respiration problems standing outdoors on a urban street

Signs of Dangerous TBI in Adults

If someone is in a car accident and then gets a headache that doesn’t go away but instead worsens over time, they may have severe injuries, including TBI. They may repeatedly vomit or experience convulsions or seizures. Clear fluids may drain from the ears or nose. Physical symptoms may also include feelings of numbness or weakness, and they may have decreased coordination, becoming clumsier than usual.

One pupil may be larger than the other, and they may experience a loss of vision altogether in one or both eyes. They may have difficulty in recognizing people or places, and they may experience confusion, agitation, or restlessness. Speech may become slurred or the muscles necessary to form words may stop working. They may appear very drowsy or lose consciousness.

Mental problems can occur, too, with severe traumatic brain injuries causing difficulty with reasoning and judgment. The ability to concentrate may be altered, and executive functioning tasks such as problem-solving, planning, and multitasking may become challenging. Someone with a severe TBI may demonstrate trouble with communication, finding it hard to understand tone, read cues, or pick up on nonverbal signals. They may demonstrate problems with understanding how and when to start or stop conversations.

Signs of Dangerous TBI in Children

Because children can’t always communicate what issues they are experiencing, parents and caretakers may need to use other ways of assessing whether or not their child may need brain injury treatment. Children may exhibit any of the signs an adult might, but they may also show their potential injury in different ways that indicate a problem such as refusing to nurse or eat.

Children suffering from a severe car accident brain injury may display atypical irritability, be unable to stop crying, and be inconsolable. Their ability to pay attention may change, as may their sleeping habits. They may lose interest in playing with their favorite toys or engaging in their favorite activities and may seem sad or depressed.

Head or Brain Injury Treatment

Young neurologists reading brain MRI at hospital

If you believe you may have sustained a mild, moderate, or severe brain injury, you may benefit from professional care. A neurologist can help you treat the damage sustained in an auto accident. If professionally treated as soon as symptoms are noticed, TBIs have a better chance of avoiding the long-term consequences that can come with untreated traumatic brain injuries.

If you have been in a car accident and are showing signs of brain injury, don’t delay seeking treatment. Schedule a consultation with Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, New York to get on the path to healing today. We accept most insurance plans, including no-fault and workers’ compensation. Same-day appointments may be available.