Recognizing the signs of brain injury after a serious accident

Brain injuries can be difficult to detect and more severe if left untreated, which makes understanding their short- and long-term symptoms important.

A brain injury is one of the most serious and complex injuries that a person can suffer. Sadly, these injuries occur fairly often as a result of falls, car and truck crashes, blunt trauma and other accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, which is the last year with available data, over 2.2 million Americans suffered brain injuries serious enough to require an emergency department visit or hospitalization.

Brain injuries rank as a top cause of disability in the U.S., and there is currently no treatment to reverse the effects of these injuries. The only factor that can mitigate the impacts of a brain injury is immediate recognition of the injury and medical treatment. This makes it essential for people in Las Vegas to understand how to identify the various warning signs of these injuries.

Early-onset symptoms

Initially, a brain injury may cause a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. These include:

  • Headaches, vision problems or light sensitivity
  • Dizziness or issues balancing
  • Difficulty focusing, thinking quickly or absorbing new information
  • Lethargy, insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
  • Strong moods, such as anxiety or depression

Some of these symptoms may manifest immediately. Others might only become apparent after a few days pass or once a person tries to resume her or his normal routines.

Critical warning signs

Certain early-onset symptoms may indicate that a traumatic brain injury has caused serious and potentially life-threatening complications, such as a blood clot. These symptoms include extreme confusion, drowsiness, coordination problems, numbness and loss of consciousness. People who experience nausea, vomiting and worsening headaches after suffering a head injury also should seek medical attention immediately.

Long-term effects

Brain injuries that are not detected immediately may produce many telltale symptoms that persist for months or even years. Victims may exhibit behavioral and personality changes, strong mood swings, reduced impulse control and difficulty with certain cognitive skills. They may also suffer changes in sensory perception, challenges communicating or difficulty understanding others.

Recourse for victims

Even when diagnosed and treated promptly, brain injuries may have serious lasting consequences. Often, victims may require extensive medical care, rehabilitation and lifestyle adjustments. Many people may also face financial setbacks, between their medical costs, lost wages and any lingering effects of the injury that limit their ability to work.

When an accidental brain injury occurs due to another person's negligence, victims may have the right to seek compensation for these various expenses. However, due to the unique and sometimes gradual ways that a brain injury may manifest, proving the existence and severity of one of these injuries may be difficult. For this reason, victims may want to consider seeking the help of an attorney who has experience handling these complex cases.

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