Head Injuries From Accidents - Don't Ignore Them!

Traumatic brain injuries happen when there is a violent impact or jolt to the head or body. They are often invisible, even on MRIs and x-rays. If you’ve been in an accident and are diagnosed with a concussion, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and any changes in them. There have been documented cases of people walking away from what does not appear to be a severe car accident who die hours or days later from unseen complications because they did not get medical attention right away.

A physician can perform in-office testing that will help diagnose a traumatic brain injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are signs and symptoms of mild, moderate and severe brain injuries:

Mild traumatic brain injury

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes

  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fatigue or drowsiness

  • Problems with speech

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Sleeping more than usual

  • Dizziness or loss of balance

  • Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell

  • Sensitivity to light or sound

  • Memory or concentration problems

  • Mood changes or mood swings

  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours

  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens

  • Repeated vomiting or nausea

  • Convulsions or seizures

  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes

  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears

  • Inability to awaken from sleep

  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes

  • Loss of coordination

  • Profound confusion

  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior

  • Slurred speech

  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

For the original Mayo Clinic post and more information, see https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557.

If you have been involved in an accident and have any symptoms of a traumatic head injury, do not ignore the signs. Get treatment right away and tell your doctor if your symptoms change. You should also seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in litigating head injury cases, because they can be complicated and require certain types of expert witnesses. Deena Buchanan has handled several head injury cases and can help. Contact her at 505-900-3559.

Note, The Buchanan Law Firm, LLC, is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice. You should always consult a physician for medical advice and treatment.