If you’re driving along a West Virginia road, and another vehicle hits you, an otherwise uneventful commute to work or trip to the grocery store may suddenly become an emergency situation. The impact of a collision may result in injuries that are immediately apparent, such as a broken bone, severe contusions or a laceration that is bleeding. Some injuries, however, such as a traumatic brain injury, might not be noticed right away.
You might wonder how you could possibly have a brain injury and not know it. In the past, many accident victims were not aware of their brain injuries in the immediate aftermath of a collision because symptoms didn’t develop until later. This is why it’s so important to closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow a car accident.
Never disregard these post-collision symptoms
It’s common to feel upset and afraid after a motor vehicle collision. It’s also common to feel pain and discomfort, perhaps for many days or weeks. In fact, some collision-related injuries result in chronic pain that remains long after the date of occurrence. The following list shows symptoms you could develop at any time if you suffer a traumatic brain injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Clear fluid of blood draining from ear or nose
- Difficulty awakening from sleep or trouble sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Cognitive delay or mental confusion
- Abrupt mood swings
- Numbness or tingling in any part of the body
- Facial pain
- Delayed reflexes
- Headache, facial pain or upper body pain
Even if it’s been several days or longer since you were involved in a collision, any of these symptoms are cause for concern. It’s always best to return to the hospital or schedule an immediate appointment with your primary care physician to report such symptoms and seek medical examination.
Make sure the attending physician knows that you were involved in a collision
If you’re seeking medical attention because symptoms have arisen after a car accident, it’s imperative that you inform the doctor that you were recently involved in a collision. When a doctor knows that a car accident victim is experiencing post-collision symptoms like those mentioned earlier, he or she will run tests, such as a CAT scan, to rule out or diagnose a traumatic brain injury.
What happens after you’re diagnosed with a brain injury?
If a West Virginia doctor diagnoses you with a collision-induced concussion or other brain injury, he or she will provide specific instructions for treatment. In addition to prescription medications to help alleviate pain, you may need physical therapy or surgery during recovery, as well.
The implications of a brain injury extend beyond physical issues
Depending on the severity of a brain injury, you might have to rely on family members, close friends or professional nursing services during recovery to assist you in daily life routines. Beyond physical recovery, however, a brain injury can also cause substantial financial distress, especially if you’re unable to work.
Many recovering accident victims have been able to offset medical expenses by filing a personal injury claim in civil court when another driver’s negligence was a causal factor in the collision that resulted in their injuries.