According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, almost 1.5 million people suffer brain injuries every year, and most of these caused by accidents involving vehicles, bikes, and bicycles. Others can be caused by slips or trips and falls in the home or elsewhere.
Traumatic brain injuries can and do happen in vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, the signs of that can be easily missed particularly when the patient still talks, walks and responds normally.
This is dangerous because when the symptoms eventually show up in the future, it can significantly impact the patient’s quality of life. Not just that, it may not be linked to the accident, resulting in the dreaded misdiagnosis of the patient’s condition.
So, if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident recently, be on the lookout for the following:
• Sudden temperament changes
• Sudden mood swings and irritability
• Reduced cognitive skills
• Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
• Clear fluids draining from one or more of the eyes, nose, and ears
These could all be symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Whatever the case, if you passed out in an accident, are certain you hit your head or notice some of the above-listed symptoms, you should speak to your doctor about it immediately.
But What Should You Do Immediately After?
Well, because traumatic brain injury can be difficult to diagnose, particularly when there’s no loss of consciousness, the first thing you need to do after consulting with a doctor is to talk to a reputable personal injury attorney.
Usually, if there’s a loss of consciousness spanning days or weeks –this is called coma- it will be very easy to prove that the patient suffered a brain injury. But if this isn’t the case, you might want to talk to the doctor and your lawyer about the possibility of getting ahead scan to see if there’s no damage to the brain.
The doctor will often be able to tell you if there’s nothing or something. Whatever the case, we believe that it’s better for you to know early on as against later.
More importantly, we do not recommend that you go home from the scene of the accident just because you feel fine. This is even more so if you bumped your head and are probably bleeding. Telling yourself it’s just a scratch can actually cost you your life and cause your family incredible grief.
Filing for Compensation
You could decide to file for compensation from your insurance company or that of the at-fault party if there’s any. But the red tapes you’d have to jump through could be quite substantial, considering that traumatic brain injuries, particularly in seemingly healthy individuals, can be hard to prove.
Your best bet, therefore, is to hire a personal injury attorney with the requisite experience in brain injury cases to do the filing on your behalf. In fact, sometimes, the attorney might look into what is known as the crashworthiness of the vehicle to see if you should also file for compensation from the automaker.
This is important because of the crashworthiness doctrine that basically says that even if a car isn’t meant to be involved in an accident, a carmaker should have made allowances for that and built in certain safety measures to protect or minimize the damage done to their customer in the event of an accident. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the summary.
Whatever the case, please don’t go it alone when you’re involved in an accident and there’s the possibility of a head injury. There are reputable personal injury attorneys like David Heil willing to help you get your deserved compensation and reward.brain injuries