man holding his head

What You Need To Know About Head And Traumatic Brain Injuries From Car Accidents

What is a concussion, TBI, or head injury?

In the event you believe you’ve sustained a concussion, getting the proper medical treatment in Los Angeles is crucial to preventing further complications from occurring. The first step is to be able to properly identify the common signs and symptoms of a concussion, as well as being aware of what you can do to mitigate ill-effects.

concussion vs traumatic brain injury graphic

As illustrated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a range of symptoms associated with this type of injury. For instance, in some cases your mood may be affected by a serious head injury. This can cause an increase in emotionality, as well as irritability or a feeling of sadness. Cognitive effects may also occur, including trouble thinking clearly or concentrating, not being able to retain information and the feeling that your thoughts are progressing slower than usual.

Physical effects may also occur. You may experience dizziness, headache, trouble with balance, noise or light sensitivity and a feeling of nausea. In some cases, the above effects might present immediately. In others it can take weeks or even months for them to present. This can be difficult to understand, as you may not even be aware of the underlying cause of these symptoms.

Of course, there are situations where a concussion requires emergency medical treatment. This is especially true if a person is slurring their words, suffering from convulsions, have lost consciousness or fail to recognize familiar people and places. Also, while it’s uncommon, a concussion can cause a blood clot to form in the brain. This complication can be fatal, which only underscores the importance of seeking immediate medical treatment.

What to do if you’ve had a head or brain injury

As a Californian resident who has recently gotten a concussion, there are certain things you should be aware of. Brain injuries should always be treated with caution due to their location, and there are certain signs to keep an eye out for which could mean worsened damage if left untreated.

There are certain “danger signs”, according to Brainline, which could point to more serious brain injury. While simple concussions generally heal on their own, complex brain injury can include extreme dangers such as the possibility of blood clots forming. For that reason, if you experience the following symptoms, you should consider seeking medical attention. These signs include:

  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Headaches that worsen instead of going away
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty with balance, coordination or sensations and feelings

Additionally, you may experience mental or emotional changes. For example, if your concussion is serious, you could experience agitation or restlessness. You could also become confused.

While those are the signs that constitute immediate risk and should be treated most seriously, there are other symptoms that often occur with a concussion that aren’t as serious. This can include headaches that get better or go away in time, neck pain, a lack of energy, or difficulty sleeping. However, if even these lesser symptoms persist, it is a sign that you should get it checked out by a doctor.

Generally speaking, when it comes to head injury, “safe rather than sorry” is a good phrase to go by. Even if it feels excessive, going to a doctor the moment you believe you may have a concussion could save you a lot of trouble later down the road.

Long term effects

All of the possible symptoms of a typical traumatic brain injury have the potential to be severely debilitating. But of all the side effects of a TBI, perhaps the most serious and life-changing is reduced cognition. Our ability to think clearly and understand the world around us is one of the most important parts of most people’s self-identity. The sudden loss or reduction of cognition can be devastating.

Cognition is defined by MSKTC as the act of knowing or thinking. Aspects of human cognition include:

  • Attention and concentration
  • Processing and understanding information
  • Memory
  • Communication
  • Planning and organization skills
  • Reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making
  • Impulse control

We use a mix of these skills every day. An accident that limits a person’s cognitive abilities can prevent him or her from working, raising a family, and living independently. For instance, a damaged ability to pay attention or multitask can make finishing work projects impossible, and make long conversations very difficult.

Meanwhile, the victim may also be dealing with problems processing and/or understanding information. It may take them longer to get what someone is saying to them, or struggle to comprehend something they are reading. Other victims find their TBI has robbed them of the ability to speak clearly. They may have a hard time finding the right word, or may be unable to express their thoughts in an organized manner.

The world can become a confusing, alien place after a TBI. Medical treatment and rehabilitation may be able to help, but many people are permanently disabled by brain trauma. Some head injuries are unavoidable, but others happen because someone acted negligently. Brain injuries caused by negligence should not leave the victim high and dry financially.

Why you need an attorney

Traumatic brain injuries don’t just impact your physical health and ability to function. They also have a dramatic effect on what your day-to-day life looks like. Even once you are out of the hospital, you may need ongoing appointments, specialized medical equipment and additional time off work — or even a total career change.

Unfortunately, it’s quite common for the other party in one of these accidents to be less than cooperative. Insurance companies in particular can be incredibly difficult to deal with and may even try to get you to believe that you were the person at fault. It’s important to understand that these companies have dedicated legal teams on retainer specifically for these situations.

When you have suffered a traumatic injury after an accident, you already have so much to deal with. The recovery, financial aspect of taking time or work and the mounting medical bills add a tremendous amount of stress. It’s normal for both you and your family to feel overwhelmed at the idea of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

This is where a personal injury attorney can help. With more than 30 years experience handling personal injury cases involving traumatic brain injuries, I understand how stressful and difficult this situation can be. I bring my experience and resources to your case, so you can focus on resting, recovering, and adjusting to life after your accident. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury because of another person’s negligence, I can help you understand your legal options and what the next steps may be.