What Are The Symptoms of Brain Damage After a Houston Car Accident?

Graphic of a skeleton holding head in pain from to indicate a brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, are among the most common injuries resulting from car accidents. If you or a loved one has experienced a TBI due to a car crash, the repercussions can be life-altering, with potential short-term or long-term effects.

It’s crucial to promptly seek medical attention to diagnose and address a concussion or TBI. Early medical intervention often improves the chances of recovery. But how do you recognize the signs of a brain injury? What are the red flags indicating a TBI?

Our Houston car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler provide valuable insights into identifying and addressing traumatic brain injuries.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain injuries resulting from car crashes are, unfortunately, quite prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 14 percent of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a result of motor vehicle crashes.

This translates to roughly 490,000 brain injuries annually across the nation caused by car wrecks, as estimated by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the organization sponsoring Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Car accidents also consistently rank among the top 5 causes of brain injuries nationwide, according to data from the CDC.

What are common brain injuries?

Brain injuries sustained in car accidents can cover a wide range. Some of the most common brain injuries suffered by crash victims include:

  • Concussions: Often classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), concussions are among the most frequently occurring brain injuries.
  • Contusion: This type of brain injury involves bruising of the brain tissue.
  • Brain hemorrhage: This refers to bleeding that occurs within or around the brain.
  • Hematoma: Hematomas are blood clots that form within or around the brain.
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): DAI occurs when the brain undergoes twisting or rotational forces, leading to the tearing of brain cells.

Warning signs of brain injury after a car accident

Recognizing the signs of a brain injury following a car accident is crucial for ensuring prompt medical intervention. If you experience any of the following symptoms after a collision, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Dizziness or impaired balance following the accident.
  • Persistent and severe headaches.
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises.
  • Difficulty with cognitive functions, such as thinking or remembering.
  • Trouble waking up from a deep sleep.

How do doctors diagnose a brain injury?

Diagnosing a brain injury often involves a variety of medical tests and procedures. Among the most common methods are imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays, which allow doctors to visualize any abnormalities in the brain’s structure. Additionally, cognitive assessments are often conducted to evaluate a person’s thinking abilities and motor skills, with a particular focus on speech and eye movements.

In addition to imaging tests and cognitive assessments, doctors may perform neurological examinations to diagnose a brain injury. During these examinations, healthcare professionals evaluate a patient’s reflexes, coordination, strength, and sensation to assess any abnormalities that may indicate a brain injury. Neurological examinations can help doctors determine the severity and location of the injury, as well as guide treatment decisions.

Furthermore, blood tests may be conducted to assess levels of certain biomarkers associated with brain injury, such as proteins released into the bloodstream following damage to brain cells. These biomarkers can provide valuable insights into the extent of brain damage and help healthcare providers monitor patients’ progress over time.

In some cases, doctors may also use specialized diagnostic tools, such as electroencephalography (EEG) or evoked potentials testing, to evaluate brain function and detect any abnormalities in electrical activity. These tests can be particularly useful in identifying subtle changes in brain function that may not be apparent through other diagnostic methods.

Overall, a comprehensive approach to diagnosing a brain injury may involve a combination of medical tests, physical examinations, and neurological assessments to provide an accurate assessment of the patient’s condition and guide appropriate treatment strategies.

Common brain injury medical treatments

When treating brain injuries, the approach can vary based on the severity and specific characteristics of the injury. Here are some common medical treatments:

Emergency Medical Care

In cases of severe or life-threatening brain injuries, immediate emergency medical intervention is crucial. This may involve stabilizing the patient’s condition, controlling bleeding or swelling in the brain, and ensuring proper oxygen supply to the brain tissues.

Brain Surgery

In certain cases, particularly those involving significant trauma or internal bleeding within the brain, surgical intervention may be necessary. Brain surgery aims to repair damaged brain tissue, remove blood clots or hematomas, or relieve pressure on the brain caused by swelling or fluid accumulation.

Hospitalization and Monitoring

Following a brain injury, patients may require hospitalization to be closely observed and monitored. This allows healthcare professionals to monitor vital signs, neurological status, and any changes in symptoms.

Medication Management

Depending on the nature of the brain injury and associated complications, patients may be prescribed various medications to manage symptoms and prevent further complications. These may include anti-seizure medications, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or medications to control blood pressure and reduce swelling.

Rehabilitation Therapy

Following the acute phase of treatment, rehabilitation therapy plays a crucial role in promoting recovery and improving functional outcomes for brain injury patients. This may include physical therapy to improve strength, coordination, and mobility, cognitive therapy to address memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, as well as speech therapy to address communication and swallowing difficulties.

Seeking legal help after a brain injury

Claims involving brain injuries often turn into complicated legal cases. That’s because head and brain injuries can have profound and long-lasting effects on the lives of victims, requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.

Additionally, determining liability in brain injury cases can be challenging, especially when multiple parties may be responsible for the accident or when there are disputes over the extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life. Insurance companies also often try to minimize payouts for brain injury claims, making it essential for victims to have experienced legal representation to advocate for their rights and pursue fair compensation.

Our Houston car accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler know the games insurance companies often try to play. That’s why we’re here to help. Our attorneys can help gather evidence, consult with medical experts, and build a strong case to seek the compensation you deserve for your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care needs.

Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation. We have four offices conveniently located throughout Texas, including three in Houston. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we secure a financial settlement or verdict on your behalf.