Car crashes can cause fatal injuries or leave someone with severe physical disabilities. Those who experience a crash often consider themselves fortunate if their injuries are seemingly minor in the immediate wake of the accident. The unfortunate truth is that not all serious injuries have obvious symptoms immediately.
Some of them take several days or even weeks to develop. This is particularly true in cases of brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most debilitating and severe injuries that a person can suffer. You should watch for symptoms for some time after a crash. Getting timely treatment is important to improving your prognosis and your ability to connect with compensation from the person or entities responsible for the crash.
Why do brain injuries take so long to show up?
If the idea of monitoring yourself for several weeks to watch for symptoms seems unnecessary, you might consider the long-term effects of untreated TBI. Depending on the location of the injury and the severity of the damage, you could experience permanent reductions in motor function, issues with cognitive ability, problems with memory, difficulty sleeping or even changes in your overall personality and daily mood.
Unlike broken bones, which are usually apparent at the time of injury, brain injuries often take a while to fully develop. Whether you strike your head on the steering wheel or experience violent shaking when a vehicle spins or rolls, your brain may experience blunt force trauma that results in bruising, bleeding or swelling.
Your skull, whose primary task is keeping your brain safe, acts as its worst enemy after a traumatic brain injury. The rigid enclosure of the skull means that there is no place for the swelling brain tissue to go. That can increase the pressure on your brain and the overall amount of damage you suffer after the accident. The sooner you seek medical care, the easier it will be for doctors to treat the injury and reduce the potential of worsening symptoms over time.
If you develop a brain injury, you may need to seek compensation
Brain injuries have a way of changing everything about your life. They may affect your ability to continue performing your job, and they can prevent you from successfully training for a new field of employment. They can also impact your ability to care for yourself, which can put a lot of strain on both your finances and your family.
If your TBI is the result of a car crash caused by another driver, you likely have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible. You can see compensation for lost wages, medical costs and other financial consequences of the injury. Doing so will minimize the negative impact of your injury and help you better adjust to life with a TBI.