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4 Signs You Have a TBI After a Car Accident

  1. 4 Signs You Have a TBI After a Car Accident
  2. Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Vary in Their Severity
  3. Common Signs and Symptoms of TBI
  4. How to Protect Your Health Following a TBI
  5. Know Your Legal Options After a Car Accident-Related TBI
  6. Contact Will Adams Law Firm for Legal Help After a Car Crash

4 Signs You Have a TBI After a Car Accident

Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident is a common occurrence. However, since many symptoms of TBI are relatively mild or innocuous, many people suffering with TBI aren’t even aware they’ve suffered a significant injury.

In this article, we’re going to discuss four of the most common signs of TBI so you or your loved ones can recognize the symptoms if you’re ever in a situation that calls for this sort of knowledge. We’ll also discuss next steps to take following a car crash and what you should do from a legal perspective.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Vary in Their Severity

There are multiple types of TBI that range in severity and prognosis. Concussions, for example, are a relatively mild brain injury—although they can result in severe post-concussion syndrome. On the other hand, many diffuse axonal injuries (DAIs) make it impossible to work or perform routine, daily tasks.

Your brain injury is as unique as you are. However, regardless of the severity of your symptoms, you should always seek immediate medical care—especially if you lost consciousness during the crash. Studies show that the sooner you get treatment for a TBI, the better your chances are of recovering some function.

Doctors typically categorize brain injuries into several different categories.

Mild TBI (Concussion)

A mild TBI, or concussion, is far and away the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Mild TBIs are usually caused by some sort of blunt force trauma to the head or an event that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth within the skull. This can lead to damaged brain cells and even chemical changes within the brain. As a result, people who have suffered one or more concussions often experience a change in their cognition, emotions, behaviors, and sleeping and eating patterns.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAIs)

Less common than a concussion, these severe injuries involve damage to your brain’s delicate bundles of nerves, called axons. As your brain violently bounces off the wall of your skull, nerves are sometimes stretched, torn, or damaged. Unfortunately, your brain cannot process or transmit messages as easily with damaged axons.

Traditional MRIs sometimes cannot identify the subtle (but profound) damage of a diffuse axonal injury, making these cases difficult to prove—unless you have an experienced brain injury lawyer by your side.

Brain Contusions

Contusions are bruises, and you can severely bruise your brain during a car wreck. Unfortunately, a contusion can cause swelling and pressure in your brain, causing severe and permanent damage. However, other brain contusions are relatively minor, only causing symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, and mental confusion.

RELATED: Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

Common Signs and Symptoms of TBI

It’s important to note that everyone experiences TBI signs and symptoms in different ways. However, if you, a loved one, or another person involved in a car accident are experiencing any of the following signs of TBI, you should receive immediate medical attention.

1. Losing Consciousness

Losing consciousness following a significant head injury is a tell-tale sign that an individual has suffered a traumatic brain injury. In most cases, TBI victims are knocked out for less than five minutes, but in severe cases, they can lose consciousness for substantially longer. Brief or prolonged periods of amnesia immediately after a car crash are another common sign of TBI.

2. Disorientation and Memory Issues

Many TBI victims experience a temporary sense of disorientation following their injury. They often report feeling foggy and are unsure of where they are or what has just happened to them. And within the days and weeks following the initial injury, TBI victims often struggle with their short- or long-term memory and continue to feel a general sense of confusion.

3. Mood Swings

TBIs can cause major mental and emotional changes. Victims often report rapid and extreme mood swings that are characterized by feelings of depression and constant irritability. Other common mood issues include anxiety, tension, extreme worry, and difficulty coping at work, school, or with friends and family. These emotional issues can exacerbate other symptoms such as memory issues, lethargy, dizziness, and headaches.

4. Sleeping Issues

Many individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury often report a change in their sleep patterns. While some individuals find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, others sleep more than usual or experience excessive tiredness. People recovering from a TBI often report especially vivid dreams, night terrors, or a complete lack of dreaming.

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How to Protect Your Health Following a TBI

First and foremost, you should seek immediate medical attention following a car accident. A car crash often causes a major spike in adrenaline or even shock, which can camouflage symptoms of TBI and other injuries. So even if you don’t believe you’ve suffered an injury, you should visit the emergency room to rule anything out.

While every TBI will affect victims differently, there are steps you can take to preserve or even improve your health following one of these injuries.

  • Regular exercise: When feeling healthy enough, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to increase blood flow and improve the health of your brain tissue. Even a light walk around the neighborhood can make a big difference.
  • Sleep routines: While it may be difficult to fall asleep or wake up and get out of bed, you should try to establish regular sleep routines for better focus and fewer mood issues. And forcing yourself to set a regular bedtime and waking time can lead to better sleep.
  • Avoid drinking and smoking: Drinking can worsen emotional issues following a TBI and negatively affect your sleeping habits. Smoking damages blood vessels, which could increase the risk of stroke following a TBI.
  • Stress management: Feeling easily overwhelmed and anxious can cause additional stress, which can exacerbate your symptoms and slow the healing process. Consider yoga, meditation, or speaking with a mental health professional to learn coping strategies to manage your stress.
  • Healthier eating: Trying to eat healthier with a good mix of fruits and vegetables is a good practice for everyone, regardless of their health status. But for people who have suffered a TBI, eating foods with lots of B vitamins and antioxidants can improve brain health and functionality.

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