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Sleep disturbance after a car accident with a brain injury

You may feel tempted to settle quickly when seeking compensation after a car accident. You need the money. You want to put the whole thing behind you. It pushes you to take the offer and call it good.

That may not be wise. In some cases, you could have long-term issues that do not have any quick relief. These could turn out to be life-altering issues, perhaps that do not heal. You may need long-term treatment. If you settle too quickly, do you really get all of the compensation that you need?

To see how this works, let's take a look at just one example: brain injuries and sleep disturbance issues.

Traumatic brain injuries

Per the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is common for people to experience various sleep disturbances after they suffer from a TBI, or a traumatic brain injury. These are the types of injuries that often happen in a car accident. The brain can get seriously damaged even with a closed-head injury.

The NCBI says that sleep issues impact anywhere from 30% of people who have brain injuries to 70%. They also note that even a "mild" brain injury can lead to these issues. Some of the most common ones they see include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Cataplexy
  • Sleep apnea
  • Parasomnias
  • Periodic limb movement disorder

Do not underestimate the impact of something like chronic fatigue. It can make it impossible to work or do things you enjoy. It's more than just feeling tired. Even when you set aside enough time to sleep, you may never feel rested. You may also feel like you have to sleep far more than you did before the accident.

Related issues

Even without the specific issues noted above, the NCBI also said that people who experience a TBI may have anxiety, depression or chronic pain -- or a combination of the above. These issues can have a "substantial influence on sleep quality."

Plus, they happen due to more than just the brain injury alone. If you lose someone in a car accident in which you get injured, does that mean you find yourself more likely to experience depression? If you get injured in a crash that you had no control over, do you now have greater issues with anxiety? Combine that with the brain injury itself, and sleep can become incredibly elusive.

Your legal options

As you can see, it's not just the initial injuries and treatment that you need to consider after a crash. You have to think about the long-term impact, as well. Make sure you know what legal options you have.

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