Car accidents can cause serious injuries that require extensive medical care. Among those injuries, TBIs are particularly worrisome. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you need a catastrophic injury lawyer to fight for you to get the compensation you need to cover your losses and move on with your life.
With over 30 years of experience, attorney David Fuchs has the skills necessary to help you navigate your personal injury case. To schedule a free case consultation with a Fort Lauderdale brain injury lawyer, call David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. or reach out through the online form.
A “Traumatic Brain Injury” Explained
Many people think that the phrase “traumatic brain injury” applies only to severe head trauma that requires hospitalization. This is not the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” TBIs can be mild, moderate, or severe. They can also be caused by a minor or major accident of any kind.
Different Types of TBI
Because of the forces involved, car accidents or other incidents often result in TBIs, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the most common brain injuries suffered by car accident victims include:
- Concussions. A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or a sudden change in movement or momentum. You can suffer a concussion following a minor car accident, and that concussion can have serious effects on your health.
- Penetration. Penetration injuries occur when something penetrates your skull and harms the brain. This harm is very serious, and often fatal.
- Contusion. The medical term for “bruising,” contusion is caused by trauma to the head. Bruises to your brain might require surgery. This type of injury can result in brain swelling after a car accident.
- Diffuse Axonal. This is an injury caused by extreme rotational forces, resulting in tears to the brain tissues. Concussions often involve a mild diffuse axonal injury.
What to Do After a Traumatic Head Injury
Brain injury victims often suffer multiple wounds as a result of a single accident. Some of these injuries require only rest, while others can require surgery and result in long-term disabilities. An experienced brain injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale can help you understand the long-term implications of your situation.
Go to the Hospital
Before you can treat your concussion, you need an official diagnosis. After any type of blow, bump, or jolt to the head, go to the hospital for a checkup. It does not matter if you experience symptoms or not. Concussions often have delayed symptoms that might not appear for hours or days after your injury. Symptoms or not, seek medical attention if you hit your head. A lot could be going on under the surface of your skull that requires medical care, even if you don’t notice any outward symptoms.
Follow Your Physician’s Instructions
Physicians and scientists still don’t fully understand how brain injuries work. Some patients make miraculous recoveries while others suffer lifelong symptoms without improvement. It is always in your best interest after suffering a concussion to listen carefully to your doctor’s orders. Although concussions are only minor TBIs, they can worsen if you don’t let your brain rest and recuperate. Generally, concussion treatments will include avoiding physical activities and difficult cognitive tasks for a time.
Rest Your Brain
There is no cure for concussions other than giving your brain time to rest and heal. Cessation from physical activities such as sports is important to prevent additional injuries such as second-impact syndrome. However, cognitive rest is just as important to help heal your brain. Achieve cognitive rest by avoiding any activities that tax you mentally. Stay away from demanding cognitive processes such as remembering things, testing your reactions, or multitasking. Let your brain conserve energy and restore cerebral blood flow for the fastest recovery from a concussion.
While your brain heals, you may find that certain things trigger painful or uncomfortable symptoms from your concussion. Loud noises, bright lights, or stress might all cause flare-ups in symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, or irritability. Do what you can to avoid triggers during recovery and make your rest periods as peaceful as possible for optimal results. Triggers are not only painful but can also harm your recovery.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Your body and brain need plenty of sleep to fully recover from a concussion. Sleep allows your brain to restore itself and recover from damage. Failing to get enough sleep can strain your brain and aggravate your symptoms. Take frequent breaks from school or work and get enough sleep every night. If necessary, take short naps during the day if you feel tired. Minimize distractions while trying to doze off for full, deep sleep. Check back in with your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your condition.
TBI Symptoms After an Accident
Brain injuries are serious and carry long-term consequences. They are, unfortunately, not always easy to diagnose. Symptoms are often subjective and may not manifest themselves for days or even weeks after your accident. The most important thing is to listen to your body – if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should seek immediate medical attention.
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). When a bump or blow to the head causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull, a concussion can occur. Concussions are the most common type of TBI, accounting for 30% of all injury deaths in the U.S. A concussed brain does not function the way it normally would. No two concussions are alike. Concussions can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on the individual and severity of the injury. After any kind of car accident, seek medical attention for diagnosis and treatment if you do have a concussion. The following red flag symptoms indicate your car accident did, in fact, give you a mild TBI.
Loss of Consciousness
There are three grades of concussions, with one being the least and three being the most serious. Loss of consciousness is a sign of a grade two or grade three concussion. A grade two concussion can cause unconsciousness for up to 24 hours, while a grade three can result in loss of consciousness for longer. If you lost consciousness during your accident or cannot remember how you got to the hospital, this is a vital sign of a concussion. This means the impact was serious enough for you to strike your head on the steering wheel, windshield, or window and blackout. Even if you lost consciousness for just a few seconds, it’s a sign that may have hit your head.
Dizziness, Nausea or Vomiting
Fright, anxiety, abdominal injuries, and many other things can cause dizziness, nausea, and/or vomiting after a car accident; however, these are three symptoms doctors associated with concussions. If you’re feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or woozy while talking to police or in the hospital, tell someone. Vomiting more than once after a crash is a clear sign that something is wrong. Even if you did not lose consciousness or do not recall hitting your head, feeling nauseous or off balance could point to the fact that you struck your head in the collision.
Headache or Sensitivity to Light and Sound
A more obvious yet often ignored symptom of a mild TBI is a headache and sensitivity to light or sound. Some crash victims may ignore or overlook a headache, chalking it up to the stress of the collision or something the person often experiences. After an accident, however, it’s important to pay attention to every physical, cognitive, and emotional sign to detect a concussion as early as possible. If you notice a headache, migraine, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light or noise, you could have a concussion. The urge to sleep more than usual or trouble falling asleep could also be TBI symptoms.
Confusion or Memory Loss
Concussions don’t only affect you physically. They can take a toll and make changes to you cognitively. Many people report feeling confused, lost, or dazed after suffering concussions. Memory loss is also a common symptom, as damage to the brain can affect the limbic system. People with concussions may notice gaps in their memory, difficulty remembering new information, trouble concentrating, or problems thinking clearly. Feeling mentally slowed down or foggy after an accident – even days later – could be a sign of a concussion. Always see a doctor after a car accident to detect and diagnose a concussion as soon as possible.
Mild Brain Trauma
You might have suffered a mild brain injury if you lost consciousness for 30 minutes or less. Most concussions are mild brain injuries. These symptoms typically mark mild TBIs:
- Persistent headaches
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Dizziness or difficulty maintaining balance
- Confused, clouded thinking or inability to concentrate
- Irritability, depression, or mood swings
Moderate Brain Damage
If you lost consciousness for more than 30 minutes and up to 24 hours as a result of your accident, you have likely suffered a moderate brain injury. Symptoms of such a TBI include:
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Severe nausea including repeated vomiting
- Loss of feeling in extremities
- Memory loss
- Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Strong, recurring headaches
Severe Brain Injury
Severe traumatic brain injuries are marked by a loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours. Symptoms of this type of TBI include:
- Blurred vision
- Speech difficulties
- Significant motor impairment
- Significant behavioral changes or issues
- Significant difficulty waking up
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
If you’ve suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a car accident or an accident caused by negligence, you should be aware that your recovery may require months of treatment, rest, and rehabilitation. You may suffer from symptoms for years following your car accident and face permanent brain damage if your injury is left untreated. If you’re suffering from a TBI, a Fort Lauderdale brain layer could help you protect your health and your future.
The Long-Term Consequences of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries carry significant potential long-term consequences. The CDC reports that in addition to short-term harm to your mental and physical health, TBIs increase your risk of suffering from epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to large medical bills, you may be facing other consequences you haven’t considered:
- Long-term physical and mental disabilities
- Lost wages and loss of employment
- Significant out-of-pocket expenses for daily care or transportation
- Long-term pain and suffering
The consequences of a brain injury following a car accident can be disastrous, and an experienced attorney in Fort Lauderdale can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Brain Injury Attorney Today
David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. believes that aggressive representation is the best way to help a client put their life back together after an accident. Fort Lauderdale traumatic brain injury lawyer David Fuchs helps personal injury victims settle their claims as quickly as possible, but he’s ready to go to court to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. to get started on your case.
If you cannot come to the Fort Lauderdale office, accident attorney David I. Fuchs will send a representative to see you. His staff speaks English and Spanish.