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After a crash, watch out for these symptoms of brain injury

By John Singleton on June 17, 2021

It’s a common injury after a car crash, and it doesn’t always seem bad – at first. But a blow to the head can change your life. While wearing a seatbelt properly and having working airbags can keep you and your loved ones safer, you can still suffer a brain injury in a collision.

Brain injuries can impact a person’s ability to walk, talk, control emotions, and work, depending on which part of the brain was injured. If your loved one has been in an accident, knowing the signs of a brain injury can help you get him or her the right medical care.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when your head is hit, your head hits something, or your head is snapped in a whiplash fashion that causes the brain to hit the inside of your skull. The brain is protected by the thick bones of the skull, but it can still be bruised, torn, or otherwise damaged if it is shaken too hard.

The most common form of a TBI is a concussion, but other types of injuries also include:

  • Brain contusions, or bruises on the brain
  • Hypoxia, which occurs due to a lack of oxygen to the brain (usually when someone isn’t breathing)
  • Diffuse axonal injury, or a tear/stretching of the brain tissue
  • Penetrating injuries, when an object pierces the skull and physically damages the brain

Are brain injuries dangerous?

Very. In the United States, 155 people die on average every day due to brain injuries, and those who survive can experience symptoms for the rest of their lives. In fact, here in Virginia, 15% of all hospitalizations in a recent year included TBIs, making up to 10,000 injuries each year.

A TBI should always be taken seriously. If your loved one suffered a brain injury, even if it seems minor, don’t wait to take him or her to the hospital. You can request several tests, such as an MRI and CT-scan, to determine the damage.

If not treated, a brain injury can lead to death or a serious disability, including:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Memory problems
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Mobility issues, such as difficulties maintaining one’s balance
  • Fine motor control issues
  • Paralysis
  • Emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, or mood swings
  • Comas

Should I take a concussion seriously?

While not life-threatening, concussions are falsely considered “minor” brain injuries. In reality, they can cause serious conditions if not dealt with immediately. For example, a concussion could cause someone to faint, strike her head against a hard object, and suffer a second, more serious, TBI.

Most car accident victims can recover from a concussion by resting under close observation by a doctor. You should always see a doctor right away if you suspect that you or someone you know has a concussion.

How do I spot a brain injury?

It is difficult for accident victims to tell they suffered a TBI on their own; most do not realize it until a friend or family member says something to them. It’s natural to believe, “Oh, I have a headache and feel dizzy because I was just in a car crash, and I’m rattled.” Few people notice they are having mood swings, hearing issues, or memory problems. That’s why it’s important for family members to know the signs of a TBI.

TBI symptoms fit into four categories, including:

  • Physical: Headaches, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light or sound, blurred vision, and fatigue.
  • Thinking/Memory: Clouded thoughts, feeling slowed down, trouble concentrating, difficulty remembering important details, repeating yourself and slurred speech.
  • Emotional: Mood swings, agitation, depression, anxiety, irritability, and difficulties controlling emotions.
  • Sleep: Fatigue, difficulties falling asleep, sleeping more or less than usual, and going into a coma.

Who can I talk to about my loved one’s accident?

If your loved one suffered a brain injury due to a negligent driver or someone else’s carelessness, reach out to us at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. My partner, Ken Gibson, and I are dedicated Virginia injury attorneys who can fight to get you compensation for your injuries. TBIs can result in serious disabilities, lost wages, and emotional trauma. We will sit down with you in a free consultation, learn how your injuries are affecting your life, and then go to work getting you compensation from the other person’s insurance company.

GibsonSingleton serves our neighbors in Virginia, and we work to prevent injuries from happening by sharing safety information with our community. But when a serious accident happens, we consider it a calling to help those who are hurt. After all, you are our neighbor, not a number.

We also work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you do. There is no cost or obligation to talk to us about your accident. Call us today at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free (855) 781-6777 to learn more about your case.

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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.