The brain is an amazingly fragile organ. Despite being armored against injury by the solid bone of the skull, the brain can suffer serious damage when a person is shaken, jolted, or bumped. Even if there is no external wound, a physical blow can cause brain tissue to bleed or bruise. Every brain injury must be considered extremely grave: memory, personality, and life itself is placed at risk when the brain is damaged.
Traffic accidents are responsible for more than half of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Estimates suggest over 800,000 people may suffer brain damage each year as a result of a motor vehicle accident. There is a significant risk that a Virginia vehicle collision may involve brain injury to a driver or passengers.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Sometimes brain injuries are subtle. Symptoms may not appear for hours or days after the car accident. Because only half of all automobile crashes lead to an immediate hospitalization, it’s easy for the symptoms of brain injury to be overlooked.
Neurologists say that the most common signs of brain injury include:
- convulsions or seizures
- enlarged pupils in one or both eyes
- nausea or repeated vomiting
- memory loss
- slurred speech
- blurred vision
- persistent headache, or one that worsens over time
- unusual behavior or moods, such as aggression, restlessness, or confusion
- abnormal sleepiness, fatigue, or lethargy
- dizziness or poor coordination
- weakness or numb feelings in the limbs
If these signs appear in someone who experienced a recent traffic accident, seek emergency medical assistance immediately.
After a Virginia vehicle collision, your most important duty is to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Keep all medical appointments and follow your physician’s advice. As we have seen, some effects from brain injuries may be delayed, so it is important to keep a record of any symptoms that may show up days after the accident.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke tells us that “little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma,” so the initial treatment is to stabilize the injury victim. X-rays and imaging tests will help determine the extent of the injury.
About half of all severe brain injury cases will need surgery. Less serious injuries may improve naturally over time. In moderate to severe cases, a key part of the recovery process will be rehabilitative therapy to restore or recover functions.
Where Do You Turn?
If your family member or friend has suffered traumatic brain injury due to an auto accident in Fauquier, Culpeper, or Warren Counties, you should take immediate steps to contact a Virginia car crash attorney.
The complicated legal and medical details of brain injury lawsuits require close attention, so you will want to consult a lawyer with experience in similar cases. Contact us today for a free assessment of your case.