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3 reasons people may overlook brain injuries after a car crash

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Personal Injury

Car crashes are a top source of severe injury and also a leading cause of death. People of all ages, including infants, can incur life-altering injuries in a collision. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the worst injuries possible when collisions occur.

A TBI can render someone unconscious and in need of life support. It can alter their personality, change their physical capabilities or affect their cognitive function. Given how extreme the consequences of a TBI can sometimes be, it makes sense that people believe they can identify such injuries at the scene of a crash. However, many people overlook brain injuries initially. They may then have a worse medical prognosis or a harder time getting compensation.

What leads to people failing to identify a TBI?

A broad assortment of symptoms

Every brain injury presents different symptoms. Some people notice a chronic, slowly-worsening headache. Others might experience changes in their executive function. They may have a hard time focusing on important matters and making decisions. Sudden shifts in mood, issues with balance and challenges with sensory processing are all potential symptoms of a TBI. As TBIs are so different from one case to the next, someone with a brain injury might have a hard time recognizing signs that a collision injured their brain.

The fight-or-flight response

The human body responds assertively to moments of intense stress. The fight-or-flight response is how the brain helps someone get out of a dangerous situation. It covers up symptoms of pain to help someone escape a predator or feel strong enough to fight back depending on the circumstances. The chemical response to the trauma of the crash could delay someone from recognizing concerning symptoms.

The delayed onset of symptoms

TBI symptoms aren’t immediate in many cases. Some people lose Consciousness during a crash and remain unconscious until their condition improves. Others may only notice symptoms several days or even several weeks after the initial trauma. The swelling of the brain or the bleeding inside the skull caused by the crash may continue unchecked for days, producing worse symptoms as time passes. Those who don’t understand the possibility of delayed symptom onset might continue with their day as though nothing happened instead of seeing a doctor to check them for a brain injury after a collision.

Successfully diagnosing a traumatic brain injury is crucial to someone’s optimal recovery and eligibility for financial compensation after a car crash. Those who understand the risks of common invisible injuries may have an easier time protecting their interests after a wreck.