If you’re driving along a Delaware highway and another vehicle slams into yours, an otherwise uneventful day may suddenly become a chaotic, devastating event that changes the rest of your life. The sudden impact of car accidents often results in serious, even life-threatening injuries to those involved.
It is imperative that you closely monitor your condition in the hours, days and weeks that follow a collision, keeping close watch for any symptoms that might suggest a traumatic brain injury or condition known as a pseudobulbar affect (PBA).
Car accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
The force of hitting your head off a dashboard, window, door panel or headrest at the moment of impact in a motor vehicle collision can cause serious damage to your brain. Some TBIs are immediately apparent because a car accident victim might be unconscious or have visible swelling of his or skull. At other times, however, you could have a brain injury and not know it because symptoms may be delayed.
A PBA is often the result of a TBI caused by blunt force trauma in a car accident. Think of this condition in terms of “brain incontinence.” If you are showing signs of having developed a PBA, you will undoubtedly be exhibiting behavior that presents itself as complete lack of control of your emotions. For instance, you might start wildly laughing when you feel sad or crying when you think something is funny.
Understanding PBA helps you get the treatment you need
Approximately one third of patients who have suffered neurological injury, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, repeated concussion syndrome or collision-induced TBI, may develop symptoms of PBA. If you suffer from PBA, you may frequently exhibit erratic and drastic signs of emotion that do not match your underlying mood.
If you have PBA, you might also slur your speech when you try to speak due to a tightness in lower cranial nerves. Additional symptoms may include exaggerated gag reflex, trouble swallowing, weakness in your tongue or pathological grimacing.
Living with PBA can be socially incapacitating
When you are in a public place, like most adults, you understand that certain behaviors may not be appropriate in certain circumstances. You would not enter a public library and start shouting. You would also understand that wild outbursts of laughter are inappropriate during a solemn church service or important business presentation.
If you have suffered a PBA from brain trauma in a car accident, however, you are no longer in control of your emotions or emotional behavior. Sudden, uncontrolled outbursts of emotions that do not necessarily align with your mood or current circumstances can spark all sorts of awkward or problematic situations. PBA can be greatly distressing for recovering accident victims and their families.
Getting the help and treatment you need
If another Delaware driver’s negligence caused the collision that resulted in your injuries, there’s no reason you should have to endure the financial distress that often follows such incidents. Recovering from a TBI or living with PBA requires specialized treatment and long-term care that is quite expensive.
This is one of the reasons many recovering accident victims seek financial recovery for their losses by filing legal claims against those deemed responsible for their injuries.