Yes. According to the U.S. government’s MedlinePlus, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) for young adults. Like other injuries, TBIs may not be apparent immediately after car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Many people only keep an eye out for head injuries after a loss of consciousness or a blow to the head, but this is a (sometimes fatal) mistake.
Do You Have to Lose Consciousness or Hit Your Head to Suffer a TBI?
No. Traumatic brain injuries can occur during car accidents whether or not the victim loses consciousness and whether or not they suffer a blow to the head. At high speeds, whiplash can cause the brain to move rapidly in the skull and cause contrecoup brain injuries. Although brain injuries vary in severity, all TBIs are serious. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of a TBI are similar to emotional or behavioral problems, so always keep an eye on how you are feeling after a car accident.
Symptoms of TBIs that may be mistaken for another condition may include:
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Sadness and anxiety
- Irritability and anger
- Becoming overwhelmed more easily
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Acting impulsively (without thinking)
- Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
- Behavioral or mood changes
- Not feeling like yourself
While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may emerge after a car accident, you should always get checked out for a TBI first. While little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage, stabilizing your TBI can prevent further brain damage. About half of the people who suffer severe TBIs will need surgeries to mitigate the damage, and many people develop permanent disabilities as a result of their TBIs.
Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
People with mild TBIs, like concussions, usually recover completely in 1 week to 6 weeks, depending on their age and overall well-being. Nevertheless, post-concussion syndrome occurs when symptoms extend past 6 weeks, and multiple concussions can lead to progressive conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Moderate to severe TBIs can leave people with permanent disabilities. Common disabilities resulting from a TBI include:
- Problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning)
- Sensory processing disabilities (trouble with sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell)
- Difficulties with communication (expression and understanding)
- Behavioral or mental health problems (depression, anxiety, personality changes, social inappropriateness, and aggression)
Severe TBIs can also result in altered states of consciousness, including coma, vegetative state, and persistent vegetative state. Sadly, TBIs can also end in death.
Coping With a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI in a car accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for many of your losses. Filing a catastrophic injury lawsuit can help you recover compensation for medical bills, missed wages, and other accident-related expenses. Having the right resources can help you and your family access the right care and live the brightest possible future in the face of your injury.
Anderson Traylor Edwards can help with your legal and financial recovery. With over 50 years of combined experience, we will fight for compensation and consider everything from emergency transportation to assistive care and devices.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation – schedule yours today at (985) 244-3070 or online.
We look forward to helping you recover.