If you’re driving along a Texas roadway and another vehicle hits you, it can spark a series of life-changing events. Not only is being involved in a motor vehicle collision a stressful and frightening experience, it might result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other severe injury that leaves you temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
The fact is that you can suffer a TBI without being immediately aware of it because symptoms don’t always show right away. This is why it’s critical to your good health to closely monitor your condition in the days and weeks that follow a collision. There are at least three concerning symptoms to watch for, which you’ll want to report to a licensed physician because they suggest a possible brain injury.
Clear fluid leaking from nose or ear suggests TBI
If another vehicle crashes into you, the impact could cause you to be violently shaken or jarred in various directions. You might also wind up hitting your head on a hard surface inside your vehicle. This can cause a skull fracture, which could be a massive injury or so slight that it goes unnoticed for a time.
If, at any point during your recovery, you notice clear fluid leaking from an orifice, such as your ear or nose, it is a sign that you may have suffered a TBI from blunt force trauma upon impact in the crash. Not only is it wise to seek immediate medical attention regarding these symptoms, it’s also important for the attending physician to know that you’ve recently been in a car accident, so that he or she will know what tests to run to determine if you have a TBI.
If you feel nauseous or are vomiting, it’s cause for concern
Another symptom that suggests you may have suffered a TBI in a recent motor vehicle collision is nausea or vomiting. Some people feel nauseous when they’re stressed or afraid. However, this is also a common symptom in TBI patients, which is why it’s best to seek medical examination if this symptom arises following a car crash.
Even if you don’t remember your head hitting a hard surface, being violently shaken or jarred in a collision is enough to injure the brain. In such cases, the brain itself can thrust up against the inside of the skull, resulting in a TBI.
Unusual behavior or mood swings
Not only is it important to pay attention to physical symptoms, such as swelling, feeling sick to the stomach or bruising, etc., it’s also important to note whether you appear to have lost control of your emotions or behavior following a car accident. Drastic mood swings or acting in ways that are not typical to your everyday behavior might mean that you have suffered a TBI.
Brain injury patients might have trouble controlling anger or might fluctuate from laughing to crying in a random sort of way. If you typically have a big appetite and are not eating or are sleeping a lot more than usual, etc., these are symptoms that are worth reporting to your primary care physician or to an emergency room doctor so that they can perform tests to rule out a brain injury.
Getting the care you need after a collision
It’s best to obtain medical attention immediately following a collision; however, doing so doesn’t guarantee that symptoms won’t arise later on that merit further medical attention for a possible brain injury. In some cases, you might fully recover from a TBI with proper care and treatment. In other cases, a TBI can have far-reaching and lasting effects.
Neurological medical care is expensive, and having medical bills pile up during recovery can intensify stress. Many recovering accident victims are able to offset their expenses by seeking compensation for damages in a civil court when evidence shows that another driver’s negligence was a direct cause of injury.