Depending on numerous factors, a motor vehicle collision can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike. While the symptoms of a TBI can be aggressive and often life-changing, they do not always appear until hours, days or weeks after the accident.
When the symptoms of a TBI are so far removed from the collision that it is no longer readily apparent that the vehicle crash directly led to the resulting head trauma, the injury is often considered “hidden” in that the consequence is hidden from the cause. It can make the injury harder to diagnose and might delay the proper course of treatment.
Numerous symptoms of a TBI can take time to develop, including:
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory impairment
- Persistent headache
- Difficulty speaking or following a conversation
- Personality changes
- Mood swings
- Difficulty making decisions
Part of the challenge lies in the fact that head trauma can either be open wound or closed wound. A closed wound might not indicate any physical damage. An individual can suffer trauma to the brain’s structure or function. Structural damage might be readily apparent through numerous diagnostic tests. Functional damage could stay hidden for days or weeks. Therefore, a closed head wound with only functional impairment could ultimately be considered a hidden TBI.
Vehicle occupants and pedestrians can suffer catastrophic injuries in a collision. From head trauma and spinal cord damage to crush injuries and amputation, recovery from many injuries can take a lifetime. Depending on the severity of the crash, the injuries could prove fatal. It is crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as possible no matter the type of collision.