Identifying the signs of brain injury in car accident victims

Car accident victims may suffer from traumatic brain injuries, which can have mild to severe effects on a person’s life.

People who have been involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania understand that the aftermath of a collision can be chaotic. In addition to property damage, people may be suffering from extensive injuries that require immediate medical attention. In some cases, however, car accident victims may not know that they are injured in the first place. Some injuries, such as lacerations and broken bones, are obvious following a tragic motor vehicle collision. Yet, other types of physical trauma may not show up for several days. Although people with severe traumatic brain injuries may show strong signs that something is wrong, people with moderate to mild cases of brain trauma may present symptoms that are not so apparent.

Damage has been done

The sudden impact of two cars colliding can cause a person to forcefully hit their head into the side window, steering wheel or the back of the seat. When this happens, the brain may smack against the bony interior of the skull. The blow may cause immediate bleeding of the brain or a skull fracture. Yet brain swelling and inflammation can continue for several days after the accident takes place. This added pressure in the skull cavity can result in even more brain trauma, which may have long-term cognitive effects.

Recognizing the signs of TBI

Depending on the severity of the damage and the location of the trauma, the victim may display different symptoms of TBI. Signs of mild TBI may be harder to identify, as they can be masked as a number of different illnesses and conditions. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, they include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and loss of coordination. People who suffer from extensive brain trauma may experience seizures, severe nausea and vomiting, intense headaches and slurred speech.

Long lasting effects of TBI

Although car accidents occur in just a few moments, the effects of a collision can last a lifetime. Victims of traumatic brain injury may have ongoing behavioral issues, including anxiety, depression, agitation and overall trouble expressing their emotions, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Other effects include:

•· Cognitive problems, such as difficulties planning, organizing, evaluating and paying attention to tasks.

•· Trouble communicating thoughts and feelings with others, as well as understanding or comprehending others' thoughts and feelings.

•· Difficulty using muscles or coordinating muscles to work together to perform a task.

•· Sensory deficits, leaving some with a decreased sensitivity to certain stimuli.

Physical impairments, such as paralysis or epilepsy, may affect people diagnosed with traumatic brain injury as well.

How can a lawyer help?

Living with traumatic brain injury can be difficult, emotionally, physically and financially. Various treatments and therapies may lead to extensive medical bills. This can be especially hard to handle if you are unable to work because of your brain injury. An attorney in Pennsylvania may be able to help people who have brain injuries stemming from a motor vehicle accident. Injured victims may want to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to find out what legal options are best for them.