In the days and weeks following a motor vehicle collision, you might experience a wide range of emotions, including anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, relief or confusion. The latter (confusion) may be a symptom of an underlying brain injury. Also, if your emotions are out of control and you’re experiencing sudden mood swings or erratic laughter or crying, etc., it may also be a sign that you suffered brain trauma in a car accident.
A brain injury sometimes heals on its own. For instance, if you suffered a mild concussion, your doctor might tell you to stay in a darkened room with noise at a minimum for several weeks. In a severe case, however, you might need shunt surgery to drain fluid from the brain and transfer it to other parts of the body, where it can then be absorbed. If you have suffered severe brain trauma, it may result in a permanent disability.
Look for these symptoms after a car accident
If you arrive at an emergency room following a car accident, a preliminary examination might lead the attending physician to suspect a brain injury. The following list includes symptoms that might be immediately obvious, as well as several that might not show up for days:
- Black eyes or bruises around the backs of the ears
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear)
- Unpleasant taste in mouth, similar to metal
- Difficulty rousing from sleep
- Poor balance when standing or walking
- Jaw or facial pain
- Memory loss or recurring confusion
- Speech or vision problems
It’s always best to seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms arise after a car accident. A licensed physician would normally order a brain scan to rule out or diagnose a traumatic brain injury following a West Virginia collision.
Achieving as full a recovery as possible
If a doctor diagnoses you with a brain injury following a car accident, you might have to spend time in the hospital. Even after returning home, however, you might have to take time off work, as well as enlist support from loved ones or a licensed caregiver for weeks, months or on a permanent basis.
When another driver’s negligence was the primary cause of a car accident that resulted in a brain injury, restitution may be sought through the civil justice system. There are many resources available to help restore quality of life following brain trauma. Such resources include medical professionals, licensed counselors, family and friends and legal advocates. West Virginia law also allows recovering accident victims to file personal injury claims in court.