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Brain injuries often get overlooked after car crashes

You were headed to work or the store when someone else ran a light or turned right into your vehicle. After a moment of confusion, you realize that you don't have any broken bones. Sure, your car may be a wreck that needs to get towed, but at least you're okay. Not wanting to make a big deal of things, you choose to proceed to your destination instead of seeking medical attention.

However, a few days have gone by, and you aren't really feeling like yourself. Maybe you're having headaches or trouble sleeping. Perhaps your balance seems off or you're having trouble remembering simple things. You could be suffering from an undiagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of your car crash, and you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

TBI symptoms can take days or weeks to show up

Just because you weren't immediately having symptoms after the crash doesn't mean you didn't sustain a TBI. Often, your brain will continue swelling for some time after an accident. That means that pressure builds up as days go on, slowly producing more symptoms.

The brain is a powerful but delicate organ. It controls everything from your muscles and bodily functions to your balance, memory and personality. Common symptoms include headache, changes in sleep patterns (trouble sleeping or sleeping more), blurry vision, slurred speech, loss of consciousness at the time of the accident (even for a second) and headache, among others. Don't wait until the symptoms become serious to get your head checked after a crash.

Always seek medical help after a crash with head trauma

Maybe you got shaken up as your car stopped, rolled or jolted suddenly. Perhaps there was a direct blow to your head when you hit the window or the steering column. If you have any reason to believe you hit your head in an accident, it is always best to err on the side of caution. The sooner a doctor evaluates you for a TBI, the better the chance you have of reducing or preventing some of the worse symptoms.

Doctors can take steps to alleviate swelling, address inflammation and help ensure your TBI doesn't get worse over time. Ignoring it can have devastating consequences. Not only does the potential for worse symptoms increase the longer you wait to get help, your chances of receiving adequate insurance coverage can also go down.

The longer the time that has passed between the accident and the onset of the worst symptoms, the harder it can be to conclusively prove that the injuries were a result of the crash. If you didn't seek medical evaluation, there may be no official record of the fact that you sustained a blow to the head.

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