Driving on South Carolina streets and roads can be challenging at times, especially at the height of vacation season. Sadly, car crashes are all too frequent occurrences. While some are minor fender-benders, others can result in catastrophic injuries with lasting consequences.
One of the most frightening injuries you can suffer in an auto accident is a traumatic brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nationwide, over 286,000 people suffer a crash-related TBI annually.
A TBI is a head injury that causes your brain to malfunction. It could result from your head hitting the windshield or a side window, from flying glass or other debris piercing your skull, or from your brain moving violently back and forth in your skull from the crash impact. Each TBI is unique, and symptoms vary from person to person depending on the type, severity and extent of the injury and which precise area of your brain sustained it.
All head injuries are serious. You should seek immediate emergency medical attention if you get a “bump on the head” in a car crash, even if you think your injury is minor. The problem with TBIs is that their symptoms may not appear immediately. Only a trained head trauma specialist can assess your situation, order and analyze the proper tests, and diagnose your true condition. If you have sustained a TBI, it is critical that proper treatment begin immediately so as to minimize its effects.
Even if your TBI tests come back negative, you nevertheless should remain vigilant in the coming days and weeks for any of the following symptoms:
- Nausea, vomiting or headaches
- Dizziness or problems with your balance
- Blurred vision or unusual sensitivity to light
- Tinnitus or unusual sensitivity to noise
- Confusion or disorientation
- Problems speaking or calling forth the right word(s)
Many TBI victims also find that they begin suffering from mood swings, anxiety, depression or PTSD. Others report feeling unusually angry or hostile. Still others are unaware of their behavioral changes, but the people with whom they live report significant personality changes.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, or if your loved ones tell you that you have become difficult to live with, do not “blow off” these tell-tale TBI symptoms. Go back to your physician as soon as possible for further testing.
Not surprisingly, the medical costs associated with a TBI can quickly mount. Depending on the exact nature of your injury, you could face the prospect of any or all of the following:
- Occupational and physical therapy
- In-home care and assistance
In addition, you could be off work for a significant period of time while recovering from your TBI, thereby losing your earnings at precisely the time when you need them most. You may wish to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who negligently or carelessly caused the accident that resulted in your traumatic brain injury.