As we head into South Carolina’s vacation and tourist season, the number of vehicle accidents likely will increase due to the increased traffic. Sadly, many of these accidents will result in serious, possibly catastrophic, injuries to the vehicle occupants. One of the most disastrous of these is a traumatic brain injury.
A TBI is an injury to your head or neck that causes your brain to move violently back and forth in your skull. Depending on the seriousness of this injury, your brain could become dysfunctional in some manner.
Diagnosing a TBI
Any time you receive a head injury, take it seriously, even if you think it is minor. Seek immediate emergency medical assistance. You need to be examined and tested by a knowledgeable and experienced trauma physician as quickly as possible. If (s)he determines that you suffered a TBI, even a “mild” one, the sooner you begin the appropriate treatment(s), the more likelihood you have of minimizing the TBI’s effects.
While some TBI symptoms appear immediately or soon after your accident, you may not notice others until several days or weeks later. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for any of the following during the month after your accident:
- Persistent headaches, nausea or vomiting
- Persistent dizziness or lack of coordination
- Persistent blurred vision or unusual light sensitivity
- Persistent ringing in your ears or unusual noise sensitivity
- Intermittent confusion or feelings of disorientation
- Intermittent speech difficulties, including loss of words
In addition, watch for changes in your normal mood(s). Oftentimes TBI victims or their concerned families notice unusual mood swings, the onset of anxiety or depression, or the onset of unusual and/or increased angriness, hostility, argumentativeness or other negative social behavior.
Should you or your family notice any of the above symptoms, see your doctor again as soon as possible, even if (s)he initially found no evidence of a TBI. (S)he likely will want to run additional tests.
One of the most frightening things about a TBI is that your medical costs associated with it can be as catastrophic as the injury itself. Depending on the nature and extent of your TBI, you could face any or all of the following:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Rehabilitation treatment
- In-home assistance and/or care
In addition to your mounting medical costs, your TBI also could require you to be off work for a substantial period of time while you recover from your injuries. If your TBI is a serious one, you could face permanent disability, thus depriving you of the ability to earn a living. In a situation such as this, your best strategy may be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your accident and therefore your traumatic brain injury.