Head injury symptoms may not appear at the time of the crash

Most people can function almost normally after a minor car crash, and some miraculously walk away from a major collision. Are you one of them?

What about the dizzy spell that appeared out of nowhere a day after the accident? Could that signal a head injury related to the crash?

A little history

Information collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that roughly 2 million people across the country experience traumatic brain injury every year. Falls cause many such injuries, but 14.3 percent result from vehicle crashes, which translates into about 286,000 TBI cases annually. Researchers believe that the number may be even higher because a head injury is not always evident at the time of a crash and would therefore not be noted in a police report.

Types of TBI

Many people are not aware that a concussion is a common form of TBI. It is the closed form of TBI, caused by a blow to the head. In a vehicle accident, this could happen when your head strikes the steering wheel or windshield at the time of impact. The open form of TBI, which is not so common, occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull and continues into the brain.

Attention to symptoms

In addition to that dizzy spell you experienced, the onset of headaches, nausea, blurred vision or sensitivity to noise or light could indicate a possible brain injury. You could also feel drowsy or disoriented, have trouble with concentration or feel unusually anxious or depressed.

Medical help

The best course of action to take after a vehicle accident, even if you think nothing is physically wrong, is to see a doctor. With prompt medical attention, you can head off complications that could affect your health for a long time to come.

A further benefit is that a timely medical report will tie any injuries you might have directly to the car crash. This would be valuable evidence to have in case of a dispute when the time comes for you to file a claim for insurance compensation.

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