A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often represents the intersection of physical health and mental health. While damage to the structure of the brain might be readily apparent and possible to heal, damage to the brain’s function might be more challenging to diagnose. Often, the victim’s friends and family members will notice changes in behavior or cognition before the injured person himself or herself.
Factors such as these can cause many to worry about the hidden consequences of TBI, which can include:
- Personality changes: It is possible for victims of head trauma to experience personality changes that could make it difficult to maintain relationships or gainful employment. Individuals might suddenly experience feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, frustration or listlessness that had not previously caused a problem. Additionally, individuals might have trouble making decisions that could lead to problems in their interpersonal relationships.
- Cognitive changes: In most examples of neurological damage, individuals experience a change in their ability to think clearly. Whether this is trouble rooted in memory, following directions or participating in a conversation, cognitive impairment of any level can lead to anger, frustration and depression.
- Late-onset symptoms: Leading many to consider TBI a “hidden injury,” it is not uncommon for symptoms of brain trauma to not be apparent immediately after a motor vehicle collision. It can take days or weeks for cognitive problems to occur. During this time, the latent symptoms might be too subtle to recognize and diagnose.
After any type of motor vehicle collision, it is wise to seek the guidance and insight of a trusted medical professional. It is important to receive a careful, thorough evaluation that could uncover brain damage and cognitive impairment. When you are able, it is crucial to discuss your crash with an experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions and provide the representation necessary to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.