Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or brain damage can result from almost any type accident— motorcycle wrecks, on-the-job injuries, car crashes, and even a tragic trip and fall case I once handled.
The brain is a delicate, highly complex organ that’s easily damaged; that’s why it’s surrounded by our hard skulls! Injuring the brain doesn’t require literally bashing your skull in. As most of us now know, those concussions NFL players get despite heavily padded helmets are actually mild brain injuries.
The real danger of many serious brain injuries is that they may be nearly undetectable. That's why doctors have created some highly detailed tests to diagnose them. An injured person might go for days or weeks after an accident without showing any signs that blood is slowly pooling in his brain. When symptoms appear, they’re often hard to put your finger on. Victims can seem almost normal, just “off.”
So here’s the rule on brain injuries: if you think you have one, assume you do, until a doctor tells you otherwise. Your brain is irreplaceable and life you know it is at stake! Get medical help immediately.
Possible Signs of a Damaged Brain
Here are some common symptoms of brain damage from accidents, which I group in three basic categories.
Physical Warning Signs of Brain Injury
- Head wound, no matter how small. This includes bruising, especially black eyes.
- Blurry or double vision.
- Vertigo, dizziness, or loss of balance. Vertigo is the sickening sensation of extreme dizziness, where the world seems to spin around you for no reason.
- Facial fractures. If you get hit hard enough to break bones in your face, remember your brain sits right behind it.
- Brain bleed, or subdural hemorrhage/hematoma. This should get picked up on hospital scans. You need to be carefully watched by family and friends for these and other warning signs—and do exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Chronic headaches. The brain itself feels no pain, but if it swells or something else is wrong with it, you might experience headaches.
Cognitive Warning Signs of Brain Injury
“Cognitive” basically refers to your ability to think and reason. Victims of brain damage can show these signs:
- Short and long term memory loss. This includes inability to remember the accident, which could cause a diagnosis of “post-traumatic amnesia.” Victims can forget names of loved ones and friends. They can forget to do basic activities like bathing, or forget how to do them, like forgetting how to start the engine of a car or how to cook food without burning it.
- Inability to focus. Paying attention and concentrating as normal becomes impossible. Some victims have the attention span of a child.
- Inability to make decisions.
- Inability to multitask.
- Inability to follow directions.
- Inability to complete tasks.
Behavioral and Emotional Warning Signs of Brain Injury
These are basically psychological changes, such as:
- Personality changes. A clear warning sign is intensified anger or aggression, mood swings, or crying spells. Some victims revert to childlike behavior.
- Lack of inhibition. This depends on the person, but examples could include walking up to complete strangers and accosting them with personal questions. Some victims might even display public nudity.
- Psychological conditions, or worsening of prior ones. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with these injuries. Victims might also experience abnormal fears. Sometimes a brain injury worsens prior conditions, including obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Irritability. Victims burdened with brain injuries are often unable to express themselves, because even they don’t know what’s wrong. Sometimes this comes out as a bad mood or bad temper, due to all the frustration, pain, and inability to do normal things.
Don’t Take Any Chances After a Head Injury
If you fear you or someone else suffered brain damage in an accident, speak up! An untreated serious brain injury can ruin your life. Go to the doctor immediately.
The same holds true for your claim against whoever saddled you with this awful, fearsome injury. You’ve got way more than you can handle on your plate already. Brain injuries can be just as hard to prove legally as they are to detect medically, so you’ll need an advocate with experience helping people with brain injury cases.
To protect your rights, call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416, or just start a live chat or email right where you are. If you don’t have time or are too hurt to come to us, we’ll come to you.