Being in an automobile accident is a traumatic event regardless of the level of injury sustained. However, for some victims, their injuries may not be immediately known following the accident. This is often the case with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Motor vehicle accidents account for over one-half of all TBIs in the United States. In many cases, the accident victim may not be aware of the brain injury at the time of the accident; however, the damage from a brain injury can be severe, life threatening, and permanent.
If you or a family member has suffered a concussion or other injury in a car accident, contact our office at (314) 646-0300 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. The attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC are dedicated to helping our clients through each step of the personal injury claim process as they continue to heal emotionally and physically following an automobile accident.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is most often caused by a sudden blow to the head. There are two types of traumatic brain injuries: a penetrating head injury and a closed head injury. Penetrating head injuries occur when an object fractures the skull and enters the brain. Closed head injuries occur when the head strikes an object causing the brain to move within the skull violently striking the sides of the skull. A closed head injury is often referred to as a mild TBI or a concussion.
Closed head injuries are common in automobile accidents because the car suddenly stops moving but the person’s head continues to move until it collides with an object such as the windshield, steering wheel, or dashboard. However, the head does not need to collide with an object to sustain a closed head injury. The impact of the accident itself can cause the head to be severely jolted. When this occurs, the brain moves within the skull violently striking the skull causing damage to the brain tissue, blood vessels, and nerve endings.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Also Known as Concussions
Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injuries. Most people who suffer from a concussion recover fully from their injury; however, 15% of people will continue to have symptoms that last for more than a year. Concussions that result in chronic symptoms interfere with a person’s daily life and prevent that person from resuming their normal activities following an automobile accident.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering new information, and thinking clearly;
- Headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, vomiting, problems with balance, lack of energy, and sensitivity to light and sound;
- Nervousness, irritability, and mood swings; and,
- Sleep problems.
Because a closed head injury does not have any outward signs of damage to the brain, as with a penetrating head injury, these types of injuries are often overlooked. Victims assume they are okay because they are not bleeding or unconscious. In a few days or weeks, they begin to experience some of the above symptoms but may not associate the symptoms with the automobile accident.
Therefore, it is extremely important to take the following five steps if you are involved in an automobile accident regardless of whether you “feel okay” immediately after the collision.
Number 1: Seek Medical Attention
If you have any of the following symptoms, go to the hospital immediately:
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling confused or dazed
- Amnesia or loss of memory
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
Number Two: Medical Tests
The doctor will determine whether you need medical tests based on several factors including your age, injury, and symptoms. Tests that may help determine if you have a head injury or concussion include a CT scan, MRI, and neurological test.
Number Three: Rest
Rest is very important in the recovery process for a brain injury. You must allow your brain to heal; therefore, rest means no reading, watching television, listening to music, working, making telephone calls, etc. Rest your body and your brain. Do not push yourself to go back to work or resume normal activities until you are sure you have recovered fully from your injuries.
Number Four: Observation
Continue to be observant after you return to your normal activities. If you continue to experience any symptoms or your symptoms become worse, seek immediate medical attention. Do not put off going to see a doctor because you believe the symptoms will “get better in time.” Waiting to seek medical treatment will only increase your risk of developing more serious health problems.
Number Five: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are not recovering from your concussion, contact our office to discuss your legal rights to receive compensation from the at-fault driver. Your health is your top priority; however, you will likely need financial assistance to help pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you incur because of the accident.
You should not be required to bear the financial burden of another person’s negligent acts. Our attorneys can offer support as you continue to heal from the injuries sustained in the automobile accident by taking care of the legal aspects of your personal injury claim.
Have You Been Injured in an Automobile Accident in the St. Louis Area?
A concussion is a serious medical condition that can leave you with permanent, life-altering conditions. Your life may never be the same due to the negligence of another driver. Do not trust your personal injury case to an attorney with little to no experience representing accident victims. The attorneys of Finney Law Office, LLC have extensive experience settling and litigating automobile accident cases.
Contact the experienced St. Louis, Missouri automobile accident attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC by calling our office at (314) 646-0300 to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you as you work to recover from your injuries and get your life back together following an automobile accident.