Some of the worst possible injuries from a car crash won’t present immediate symptoms. A traumatic brain injury (TBI), for example, could take several days before it causes concerning symptoms.
Anyone involved in a car crash could develop a TBI, but certain scenarios increase the likelihood. What are some of the most important warning signs of a possible brain injury?
Losing consciousness during or after the crash
The violent motions of a car crash can lead to someone losing consciousness. Even a half second of blacking out is a major warning sign of a potential brain injury. Anyone who has lost consciousness during or after a wreck will likely require medical evaluation to rule out a brain injury.
Being in a vehicle that rolls, spins or flips
Violent shaking motions can do just as much damage to your brain as blunt force trauma might. The harder the impact of the collision itself and the more tumultuous the motion of the vehicle afterward, the more likely it is that those violent emotions could cause swelling of the brain. People whose vehicles spin, roll over or flip in a crash are at particularly high risk of a brain injury.
Hitting your head on part of the vehicle
If you struck your forehead on the steering wheel or the side of your skull on a window, a bump and a headache aren’t the worst possible consequences. There could be ongoing bleeding or swelling occurring inside your skull.
When you seek a medical evaluation after a crash, it is very important that you disclose your symptoms so that a doctor can accurately evaluate you and rule out potentially serious injuries. Knowing the signs of a brain injury after a car crash could help you get treatment that might improve your long-term prognosis.