You often hear stories about someone getting up and walking away from a horrific car accident without a scratch. Maybe you have been in this position yourself. The problem is outward appearances may be deceiving. Your car accident may not produce any broken bones or visible wounds. But you may still have sustained a serious brain injury. The injury could be capable of producing life-threatening complications even weeks after the initial impact. If so, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer.
The Severity of a Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the third-most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. Breaking out the data by age groups, the CDC found that car accidents are the “leading cause of death” from TBI among persons between the ages of 5 and 24. And car crashes were the primary cause of TBI-related hospitalizations for adolescents and adults up to the age of 44.
One reason TBI is so problematic is the victim is not always immediately aware of the problem. A traumatic brain injury can be open or closed. An open traumatic brain injury occurs when an object goes through the victim’s skull and enters the brain. Obviously, the presence of a gaping head wound is usually enough to get someone to see a doctor.
However, in car accidents, a traumatic brain injury is more likely to be closed than open. A closed TBI often leaves no visible, external indicator that something is wrong. This often causes this type of TBI to go unchecked or undiagnosed. In many cases, this type of brain injury is the result of the victim’s head snapping back against the headrest, striking the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield during an accident, or even just from the whiplash motion often caused by being rear-ended. And speed is not necessarily a factor–a life-threatening TBI can occur even during a relatively low-speed accident, such as a rear-end collision.
This is why it is critical to seek medical attention after any car accident, even if you feel you can “get up and walk away.” You also need to be aware of potential symptoms of TBI, which may not manifest themselves until several days after the accident. These symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Confusion, disorientation, or memory problems;
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Ringing in your ears;
- Sudden mood changes, e.g., depression or anxiety;
- Unequal dilation in your pupils;
- Unexpected sensitivity to light or noise; and
- Unexplained changes in sleeping patterns, including insomnia, sudden drowsiness.
Contact a Vermont & New Hampshire Car Accident Attorney Today
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention. Keep in mind that if you have suffered a TBI, you may be facing several months of medical treatment–and thousands of dollars in accompanying bills. You and your doctor must document your injury and recovery as fully as possible if you plan to seek compensation from the negligent driver or parties that caused your accident.
It is also important to contact an experienced Vermont and New Hampshire personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident cases. At Sabbeth Law, our team can review your accident and offer you an honest analysis of your legal situation going forward. Call us today at 1-833-SABBETH or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation meeting today.