Head injuries are some of the scariest consequences of accidents, whether it’s a car accident or the result of a workplace incident.
They’re scary because they can appear at first to be nothing, maybe a slight headache. In fact, you can go on for days without knowing something is wrong. Not every severe head injury leads to obvious symptoms.
You won’t really know until you get checked out by a doctor – but if you’re like a lot of people, you can’t put off a trip to the hospital until it’s too late.
Here’s why it’s so important to get checked out if you’ve had any kind of injury or damage to your head during an accident.
Why Head Injuries Are So Dangerous
Your brain is your most important organ because it allows every other organ of your body to function. It is fragile, though, which is why your body has ways to protect it, ranging from a hard, thick skull to cerebral fluid to act as a shock absorber.
But even these defense systems can’t fully withstand trauma. Even if your head isn’t directly impacted, you can still damage your brain if it gets knocked around inside your skull due to sudden and rapid changes in motion.
The first serious type of injury most people think of when they think of head or brain injuries is a concussion. Concussions are well-known mainly thanks to football. A concussion can range from mild to severe, with the more serious ones resulting in long-term effects like personality changes, depression, disturbed sleep, amnesia, and severe pain.
Concussion is just one type of brain injuries that collectively can be described as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Mild TBI can include symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Short-term memory loss
- Long-term memory loss
- Sensitivity to stimuli
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
More severe TBIs can result in symptoms that are significantly more dangerous and long-lasting, such as:
- Prolonged loss of consciousness
- Convulsions or seizures
- Loss of coordination
- Impairment or immobility
- Persistent and debilitating headaches
- Weakness/numbness in extremities
- Significant confusion
- Noticeable personality changes
- Suicidal ideation
The most severe TBIs can result in death. In 2013, TBIs contributed to the deaths of almost 50,000 people across the United States, or approximately 137 per day.
It’s easy to see how a head injury – even a mild one – can result in serious consequences. The consequence worsen with each hour that passes without proper medical treatment.
See a Doctor As Soon As Possible
If you have been in an accident and your head has been hurt, you should get checked out by a physician as soon as possible – even if you may not feel very many symptoms at all. Even a headache is a symptom that should send you to your doctor’s office, because many consequences of concussion or TBI may not be readily apparent in the first few hours after an injury.
The longer you wait, the worse it’ll get. Untreated severe TBIs can result in permanent disability or even death. You don’t want to take the chance by not promptly seeing a doctor.
So, if you’re in an accident, and your head has been affected in any way, go see a doctor ASAP. Then contact an accident lawyer to pursue action that can help you pay for medical treatment and anything that may arise from your accident, such as lost wages and ongoing treatment. You’ll be glad you did.