Vehicular accidents have the potential to be deeply traumatic events, causing both emotional and physical wounds. In the confused aftermath of such an incident, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
One of the most important but often neglected steps you need to take is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine and see no visible signs of harm, you may have an internal injury, such as a hidden brain injury.
What are physical indicators to look out for?
Traumatic brain injuries result from impacts to the head, which are not uncommon in wrecks. While they can penetrate the skull, they do not have to and can be hard to see without an X-ray if there is no visible abrasion or bruising.
Signs you may have an undetected TBI include headaches, dizziness and nausea. You may notice difficulties with your eyesight, such as blurriness or double vision. Other physical symptoms you may experience include sudden weakness of the limbs or face, hearing problems and difficulty sleeping.
What are non-physical indicators to look for?
Because the brain controls everything, damage to it can cause emotional, mental and cognitive symptoms as well. If you find yourself with recent memory loss, decreased focus, critical thinking ability or coordination or a sudden change in your mood or emotional state (extreme anger, random sadness, etc.), you may need to seek a medical opinion. While these symptoms are not exclusive to TBIs, and the emotional ones may simply be the effects of living through a big shock, it is important not to ignore them.
A lack of visible wounds is not the same as no wounds. After an automobile crash, seeking immediate medical attention can help you discover hidden TBIs, potentially mitigating damage and saving your life.