How Do I Know If My Head Injury Is Serious?


Head injuries are some of the most common car accident injuries, and according to the lawyers Wattel & York, it may be hard to tell the severity of a head injury after an accident. However, they can occur due to various circumstances and can cause mild pain that’ll heal in a few days or severe damage that could be permanent. 

Head injuries could impact your ability to work, talk, walk, or control emotions, depending on which part of the brain was injured. Knowing the signs of a head injury can help you get the proper medical care if you are involved in an accident. Here is what you should know about head injuries.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Head injury, brain injury, or traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often used interchangeably. One common head injury is a concussion. Typically, a traumatic brain injury occurs when the head hits something, causing the brain to hit the inside of your skull. The skull’s thick bones protect the brain, but it can still be torn, bruised, or damaged in an accident. 

Based on the severity of your head injury, the symptoms can differ. Various side effects could help you identify a mild or severe head injury, yet it’s best to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. 

Consulting a neurologist after car accident is important in properly assessing TBI. Some neurological symptoms may not be immediately apparent after a car accident. Issues such as memory loss, changes in mood or behavior, difficulty concentrating, or sleep disturbances can manifest gradually. A neurologist can conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify any subtle neurological symptoms that may have resulted from the accident.

Mild & Severe Head Injuries Symptoms

Mild traumatic brain injuries are common after motor vehicle accidents. They can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Mild confusion
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • A swollen or raised area on the head
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Irritability or fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Temporary tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering
  • Sleep disruption

More severe traumatic brain injuries generally fall into moderate or severe categories and need immediate medical attention. In addition to the side effects of mild brain injuries, more severe head injuries can present symptoms including the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Severe headaches that do not go away or get worse over time
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • The inability to move or speak
  • Loss of consciousness or coma
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Dilated pupils
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Clear fluid leaking from nose or ears
  • Open head wounds
  • Behavior changes, such as mood swings, irritability

Please remember that every case is different and might involve additional symptoms. So, if you were in a car crash, always see a doctor afterward.

Are Head Injuries Dangerous?

According to the CDC, motor vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S, accounting for more than 24% of hospitalization every year. However, the report does not include head injuries treated in primary care offices, urgent care centers, and emergency departments. 

On average, 155 people die every day due to traumatic brain injuries in the United States, and those who survive could experience symptoms for the rest of their lives. You should always take a head injury seriously. Even if your injuries seem minor, do not wait long to get to the hospital. It would be best to get several tests, including a CT scan or MRI, to determine the damage.

If not treated, traumatic brain injuries can lead to blood clots that may develop in the brain, putting pressure on the brain and becoming life-threatening. Moreover, untreated brain injuries could lead to death or severe disabilities, including:

  • Memory issues
  • Fine motor control issues
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Comas
  • Mobility problems, such as difficulty maintaining balance

After an accident, some symptoms of your brain injury may show up immediately, while others can appear days or even weeks later. It’s vital to remember that any blow to the head can be severe and become deadly, regardless of any apparent bruising or broken skin. 

For example, the sudden impact in a car accident can cause the brain to shift inside the head and slam against the skull’s interior. You don’t even have to hit your head on something to suffer a head injury. The delayed onset of symptoms is an important reason for promptly seeking medical care following an accident. 

Damages to Claim from a Personal Injury Accident

If you suffered head injuries in an accident due to someone else’s reckless behavior or negligence, you might be entitled to seek financial compensation. However, head injury accident cases can be challenging, and the damages and losses from a head injury can quickly add up. The most common damages that may result from a traumatic brain injury following a personal injury accident include:

  • Hospital bills from emergency room visits, outpatient expenses, or in-patient stays
  • Medical bills such as specialist visits, prescription medication costs, or diagnostic imaging scans
  • Loss of present and future income, if the injury prevents you from working
  • Pain and suffering, mental anguish, or other non-economic damages

Trauma to the head and brain is widespread in personal injury cases, especially in motor vehicle accidents. At this stage, focusing on your recovery and rebuilding your life is essential. If your life was turned upside down due to an accident caused by someone else, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden all by yourself. That’s why legal support can be vital for your case. 

Once you are determined to seek financial compensation, the personal injury lawyer will determine that you have a valid personal injury claim and work on your behalf to find the best course of action. Moreover, a personal injury lawyer will listen to your story and work tirelessly to get you the best legal results possible. 

In addition to helping you prepare a solid case, a personal injury attorney can calculate the damages that resulted from a traumatic brain injury and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to obtain a fair settlement to cover your damages. If there are any further complications, such as post-concussion syndrome, your attorney will help you fight for damages you will incur in the long run as a result of the accident.

Treating Serious Head Injury

In the case of a serious head injury, immediate medical attention is crucial. Only trained healthcare professionals can accurately assess the extent of the injury for appropriate treatment. If someone has suffered such an injury, it is important to call for emergency medical help (911 or the local emergency number) without attempting to move the person unless necessary to prevent further harm. 

Stabilization measures ensure that the person has an open airway and control any bleeding with a clean cloth or bandage. While waiting for medical help, monitor vital signs such as breathing, pulse, and consciousness. 

In severe cases, intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and surgery can help address issues such as blood clots, skull fractures, or increased pressure on the brain. Medications manage pain, swelling, seizures, or other symptoms. Rehabilitation may be part of the recovery process, helping the individual regain lost skills and functions. Every head injury is unique, and treatment depends on the specific circumstances, often requiring a multidisciplinary approach involving neurologists, neurosurgeons, rehabilitation specialists, and other healthcare professionals.


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