Car accidents happen every day, and one of the more common results of those accidents is head trauma. You can experience head trauma by striking a solid surface in the vehicle or by being hit by flying debris. You can even experience head trauma through the violent shaking in the accident, causing your brain to strike against the interior of your skull.
However you sustain head trauma in an accident, you should seek medical help immediately and contact a lawyer to assist you in protecting your rights. At Scholle Law, our Duluth car accident lawyers understand how devastating a brain injury can be. We will be by your side while we fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
A Headache May Be a Sign of Something More Serious
While a headache could be a normal occurrence, it is more likely to be something serious if it comes after an auto accident. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is some disruption of the normal functioning of your brain. They are generally categorized into two types: open and closed.
An open TBI occurs when the skull is cracked or penetrated by a foreign object, such as a piece of metal. A closed TBI, on the other hand, occurs when the cranium is not fractured or penetrated, but an injury still occurs. Concussions are the most common type of closed TBI.
Traumatic brain injuries can also be classified as mild, moderate or severe.
The signs and symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury can include:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Fatigue or sleepiness or sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Memory or concentration problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Speech difficulties
- Loss of balance or vertigo
- Brief loss of consciousness
When accompanied by a headache after an accident, any of these symptoms should lead you to seek medical care. The symptoms of a moderate TBI are similar to those of a mild injury, but they can last much longer — and potentially get worse.
A severe traumatic brain injury can exhibit all of the symptoms of a mild TBI but may also show some of these symptoms within the first few hours or days after your accident:
- Extended loss of consciousness or coma
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Persistent vomiting or nausea
- Uneven or dilated pupils
- Numbness or weakness
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Clear fluid draining from nose or ears
- Extreme confusion
- Slurred speech
- Loss of motor or cognitive function
A severe TBI can result in serious and prolonged changes in a person’s state of consciousness or responsiveness. It can also cause seizures and fluids to build up in the brain, resulting in swelling and increased pressure which can further damage the brain.
When a group of these more severe symptoms lasts for an extended time after the injury, medical professionals refer to this as “persistent post-concussive symptoms.” These symptoms definitely warrant a visit to the emergency room.
Severe traumatic brain injuries can have a long-term and life-altering impact on an individual’s life. Not only is the damage caused by the head trauma severe, but such injuries are often accompanied by others that complicate the ability to work or to enjoy life. Loss of motor and cognitive skills can significantly impact a person’s ability to earn a living, while persistent pain, balance problems, and confusion can affect work and pleasure.
The most severe TBIs can even make independent living difficult or impossible for the survivor; tragically, they may even result in death.
Early Medical Intervention Is Associated with Better Outcomes
When the brain has been injured, it can experience fluid buildup (hydrocephalus) and swelling (cerebral edema). While those may not sound like significant symptoms, they can lead to much more severe brain damage. The initial injury causes the edema, and as the body responds to the swelling, further swelling and fluid buildup develop.
The symptoms of swelling in the brain are much the same as the symptoms of severe TBI. A doctor suspecting the presence of swelling in the brain may run several tests, including:
- Visual head and neck exam
- Neurological exam
- CT scan or MRI, either of which can locate and determine the extent of the swelling
- Lumbar puncture looking for issues in the spinal fluid
Once the doctor identifies swelling in the brain, treatment may begin. The goal of the treatment is to ensure that the brain continues to receive enough blood and oxygen to keep the brain healthy while treating the swelling and its causes.
Prompt treatment usually provides a quicker and more complete outcome and also mitigates your potential damages. Failure to mitigate your damages can make it more difficult for an attorney to assist you in obtaining the fullest recovery for your injuries.
Treatments for swelling of the brain can include any one or more of the following:
- IV Fluids: Giving fluids and medications via IV can keep blood pressure from becoming too low. The amounts of IV fluids must be carefully managed, however, to avoid making the swelling worse.
- Medication: Some drugs can help to relieve the swelling or slow the body’s response to it.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Increases the concentration of oxygen in the blood, ensuring that the level is sufficient to maintain health.
- Draining: A doctor may drain fluids from the cranium through a tube called a shunt inserted into the skull.
- Surgery: Surgery may be needed to either open the skull and relieve the pressure or to remove the cause of the swelling.
- Lowering the body temperature: While a lower body temperature helps relieve swelling and permits healing, it is not widely used.
The sooner the swelling is relieved, the more likely a rapid and full recovery from the injury. Early treatment can reduce the likelihood of developing epilepsy from swelling and other complications.
Symptoms may linger for some time, but prompt treatment will aid in providing a better medical and legal outcome.
Call an Attorney as Soon as You Can
TBIs are complex injuries with many potential devastating outcomes and life-long consequences. You or your loved ones should contact an attorney as soon as possible after a TBI, especially one that shows any likelihood of being severe.
An experienced and knowledgeable Duluth brain injury attorney will be familiar with the potential outcomes of your case, as well as the short and long-term medical and financial consequences of the injury.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury in Georgia, you should seek skilled legal intervention as quickly as you can after your injury. Just as early medical intervention can improve the likely outcome of your treatment plan, early legal intervention can improve the outcome of your compensation and recovery for your injuries.
The Duluth car accident lawyers at Scholle Law have the skills and trial experience to help you get the compensation you deserve after a severe injury. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.