Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, numbers among the common consequences of a motor vehicle accident. It can occur when the brain suffers an impact, a frequent scenario when a car traveling at high speed crashes to a halt.
TBI presents some unique features that can make it harder to diagnose. Many people do not even realize they sustained brain trauma, as one of the symptoms may include passing out and some amount of memory loss.
Symptoms may not be obvious
Accident victims may suffer mild or severe TBI. Mild TBI usually causes a brief (less than 30 minutes) period of unconsciousness and/or disorientation. Symptoms may take a while to show up; in many cases, sufferers attribute TBI symptoms to other causes and delay seeking medical attention. Typical side effects may include headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, lack of focus and difficulty remembering. While these effects may not sound drastic, over time they can seriously erode quality of life and the ability to work.
Severe TBI can cause a person to lose consciousness for a prolonged time and generally has more pronounced effects. This injury can cause coma, severe cognitive or speech impairments, and partial or complete paralysis. Because the brain controls functions throughout the rest of the body, an injury to the brain can affect other areas. Specific effects can depend on the part of the brain that suffers.
Treatment can help but not cure
While medical science cannot offer a cure for TBI, treatment may ameliorate some symptoms. To improve their condition, TBI patients may need pain medication, physical therapy and more. Unfortunately, they have no guarantee that even the best treatments will deliver significant improvement as the course of brain injuries can develop in unpredictable ways.
If you were in a car crash, you should know that you may suffer from TBI even if you do not remember passing out or hitting your head. Obtain a comprehensive examination from your doctor and watch out for symptoms that may develop later. Consult a knowledgeable attorney near you about legal options for pursuing recovery for your injuries and resulting financial losses.