Vehicle crashes can be among the most harrowing and confusing experiences you endure. You are listening to your playlist on the way home from work one moment. Next, you wake up in a hospital bed with doctors and nurses hovering over your shattered body and no memory of how you got there.

Never mind your totaled car. You can always replace a machine. Your broken wrist should heal on schedule. But a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is much more serious, with sweeping physical and psychological consequences that may not show right away. It takes a thorough examination to determine whether you suffered more extensive damage than just a bump on the head.

Know the symptoms

In a recent study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said motor-vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for people ages 15-44. They also caused 20% of all TBIs.

These injuries usually result from a violent blow or jolt to the head that disrupts brain activity. Like when the skull strikes the steering wheel or windshield. Sometimes the pure force of the collision can shake the brain against the skull interior and cause bruising and bleeding that physicians might not be able to diagnose instantaneously.

Mild and severe TBIs betray similar symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness, confusion, disorientation
  • Headaches, seizures
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Blurred vision, ringing in the ears
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings, depression, anxiety

If you suffer any physical, cognitive or behavioral changes because of a recent blow to the head, address them with your doctor as soon as possible. The effects can last days or a lifetime. And they can be devastating for survivors and their loved ones. TBIs cost about $76.5 billion in lifetime medical care.

Rebuilding together

The physical and emotional toll of a traumatic brain injury is much harder to quantify. It takes patience and persistence to rebuild your life, but it can happen. You or your loved ones should not have to bear the financial burden alone.

An experienced attorney can relieve some of that pressure by reviewing your case to determine whether you should receive compensation for your injuries. That way you can focus on what matters most – your recovery.