After getting into an auto accident, one thing that victims need to be wary of is the potential that they’ve suffered a brain injury. Sometimes, those brain injuries will be obvious, such as if a victim hit their head hard on the steering column or a window.
Other times, the injury could occur without them hitting their head at all. For instance, with cases of serious whiplash, the brain may have bounced or twisted inside the skull, which could lead to a brain injury without the person hitting their head. When the injury occurs without an impact, it’s called a coupe-contracoupe injury.
All kinds of brain injuries can take time to develop
Since brain injuries can occur with or without a direct impact to the skull, it’s important to know their signs. Initially, brain injuries may not be very symptomatic. However, as swelling occurs and fluids build up inside the skull, the pressure may lead to more significant symptoms.
Common symptoms of concussions and brain injuries include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Dazed appearance
These and other symptoms could signal that a brain injury is present and developing. Some delayed-onset injury symptoms may also include:
- Worsening concentration or memory complaints
- Personality changes
- Unusual changes in taste or smell
- Sensitivity to sound or light
Since brain injuries can potentially be life-threatening, it’s a good idea to seek medical care following a crash, even if you’re not sure if you suffered a brain injury.
Getting a diagnosis
Imaging tests may be used to help doctors visualize the damage to the brain as well. Both magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography scans can look at the brain’s structure to identify the injured areas.
After this, you’ll receive a treatment plan. You may need surgery, an intracranial pressure monitor, occupational or physical therapy or other treatments. If you make a claim, you can ask that these be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance.