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3 reasons people may overlook brain injuries after car wrecks

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries & Wrongful Death |

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most severe injuries associated with motor vehicle collisions. Some people die because of TBIs, while others may spend the rest of their lives dependent on medical equipment because of their injuries.

Even moderate TBIs can lead to long-term functional limitations and other personal challenges. People frequently assume that major, expensive injuries are easy to identify after a car crash. However, that simply is not the case for many people hurt in collisions. TBIs are surprisingly easy for people to overlook right after a crash.

Why do people fail to recognize that they might have a catastrophic injury like a TBI after a collision?

How the body responds to trauma

The human brain wants to help people escape from dangerous situations. It can give people a surge of energy after a trauma that makes them jittery and prevents them from focusing on their physical experience. Additionally, the body’s chemical response to trauma usually masks or minimizes pain symptoms. People may not realize until hours later how sore they feel after a car wreck. They could decline treatment and medical evaluation only to realize that they have concerning signs of injuries later that day or the next day.

How brain injuries develop

Severe TBIs can be obvious right after a crash because they render someone unconscious. Other times, it takes multiple days for my brain injury to become noticeable. The initial pressure on the brain caused by bleeding or bruising within the skull may not be enough to trigger severe symptoms. Only after several days have passed with that pressure worsening will someone’s symptoms reach a point that they are hard to ignore.

How different each TBI is

The astonishing assortment of different symptoms possible is another reason why people may not recognize the warning signs of a TBI right away. Some people experience sensory symptoms, like ringing in their ears or olfactory hallucinations. Other people develop issues with cognition or memory. Brain injuries can affect someone’s sense of balance and their motor skills. Changes in mood and personality are also common. The location of the injury, its severity and even someone’s neurology can all influence what symptoms they present after a TBI.

Those involved in collisions can protect themselves against worsening medical issues by seeking out timely treatment and diagnosis after a car crash. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward securing proper treatment and compensation after a major car wreck.

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