Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe and common injuries you can sustain in a motor vehicle accident. Often referred to simply as a TBI, these injuries can occur due to bumps, jolts or blows to the head. Trauma from a car accident tends to manifest as a closed head injury. However, it can also occur when an object penetrates the skull.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, TBIs can range from mild to severe, with various symptoms in between.
Common symptoms of a TBI
There are some symptoms of a TBI that generally overlap between different severities. Mild to severe TBIs, for example, may present with headaches and confusion. You may feel lightheaded, dizzy or have difficulty seeing past the blur in your eyes. While you can lose consciousness with a mild to moderate TBI, the length of time you lose consciousness may be more severe in a worse injury.
Those who suffer from a TBI tend to have difficulty keeping a sleep schedule, they may experience behavioral changes, or have difficulty remembering important things or concentrating on important tasks.
Symptoms of a severe TBI
While some TBIs might have a lot of the symptoms of milder injuries, a severe TBI presents with a headache that does not go away. You may suffer convulsions or seizures. When someone looks at your eyes, they may see one pupil dilated. Nausea and vomiting also tend to occur when you have a severe TBI. Weakness and numbness in your limbs and decreased coordination could suggest a severe injury.
Following any type of motor vehicle accident, it is wise to immediately seek a thorough medical examination. Even if you do not feel you’ve suffered a serious head trauma, some symptoms could take hours, days or even weeks to appear. Since many TBIs are closed head injuries that affect the brain’s function, there is generally no visible injury therefore a medical professional must perform nuanced neurological examinations after a vehicle collision to uncover the damage.