Whether you are driving or cycling through Colorado's spectacular mountain scenery, a vehicle crash can quickly turn your joy into horror and pain. No matter how careful you are and how defensively you drive and/or cycle, other drivers are not always as careful as you are. If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by one of these negligent drivers, you could suffer severe consequences, including a traumatic brain injury.
A TBI is an injury to your head that causes your brain to dysfunction in some manner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 2 million Americans receive a TBI each year, and 14.3 percent of these are the result of a traffic accident. The sobering fact is that you could be one of the 286,000 people who suffer a crash-related TBI annually.
You should always get immediate medical attention after a vehicle crash, even if you think your injuries are minor. This is especially true with regard to a head injury. Even a seemingly light "bump on the head" could cause your brain to quickly move back and forth in your skull, resulting in a traumatic brain injury that may not be immediately apparent. Likewise, should a piece of flying glass or other debris pierce your skull, it could damage your underlying brain.
Each TBI is unique to the person receiving it. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person and can show up any time after your accident, from immediately to several days or weeks later. Even if you receive emergency treatment right after your accident, be on the lookout for symptoms such as the following in the days and weeks afterward:
- Nausea, vomiting and/or headaches
- Blurred vision or tinnitus; i.e., ringing in your ears
- Problems with your balance and/or a feeling of dizziness
- Feelings of confusion and/or disorientation
- Sleeping too much or too little, but feeling generally drowsy or fatigued
- Unusual sensitivity to noise and/or light
Also be on the lookout for mood swings and/or changes. Many TBI victims develop anxiety, depression and/or increased irritability. Many become argumentative or even combative. If you and/or your loved ones notice that you are displaying any of the above symptoms any time during the month following your accident, get yourself evaluated by a qualified health care provider at your earliest opportunity.
It is difficult to predict how long it will take you to recover from your TBI. While some victims fully recover within a few months, others suffer long-term or even lifetime consequences. Either way, you undoubtedly will incur substantial medical expenses. Depending on the severity of your TBI, you could incur expenses for the following:
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Prescription drugs
- In-home care
You would do well to talk with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. (S)he can assess your situation, review your medical and other records, and help you determine whether or not you have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your accident and therefore your traumatic brain injury.