Traumatic brain injuries are unique in that many of them aren’t apparent right away. From the time you hit your head until you see symptoms, minutes or hours may pass.
Why is there such a long delay? Depending on the injury, you may not see symptoms until blood builds up and puts pressure on the brain or until the swelling of the brain begins to press against the skull. Once either of those things happen, there is a possibility that you could have secondary injuries as a result.
Since brain injuries aren’t always obvious, this is the major reason why you should seek medical care as soon as possible after a car crash.
What are some delayed signs of a brain injury?
There are several signs of a brain injury that could be delayed. Some may include:
- Memory loss
- Neurological deficits, like changes in your speech patterns or a loss of vision
- Decreased consciousness
If you or someone you care about develop unusual symptoms after hitting your head in a collision, head to the emergency room as soon as possible. It is possible that you have an injury that simply didn’t give you immediate symptoms.
How can a medical provider identify a traumatic brain injury?
There are several ways that medical providers can identify and diagnose traumatic brain injuries. To start with, they’ll perform a physical examination. They’ll check for signs of neurological issues, such as having one pupil that is larger than the other.
The medical provider may also run tests such as computerized tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging, X-rays or others that show the skull, spinal column and brain in different ways. With those imaging tests, it may be possible to identify the point of impact as well as the damage that has been done.
After a serious injury like this, remember that you can hold the driver who hit you accountable. Even if you don’t seek medical care right away, you can still make a claim if your injury can be linked to the collision. It’s worth looking into your legal options to seek compensation to cover the cost of recovery.