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Military Justice Center

The car-crash aftermath was about chaos, not a head injury

As the victim of a car crash, people probably kept asking you if you were OK, and you kept saying you were fine. After all, you were out of the car and walking around.

There was so much going on that you ignored the headache that began soon after the collision. However, your doctor was quite interested in your headache and found that you had suffered a concussion.

Why it happens

A blow to the head is the usual cause of a traumatic brain injury. For example, the impact from the collision may have caused you to hit your head on the steering wheel or possibly the windshield. The impact can cause your brain to move, connect with the inside of your skull and become bruised. Stretching or tearing of nerve tissue may also occur, which could disrupt nerve cell function. Depending on the severity of the jolt you experienced, the end result could be a mild TBI—usually a concussion—or brain damage.

What to look for

Symptoms of a TBI, especially a mild one, may not appear immediately. In fact, some signs do not show up for hours or even days after an injury occurs. In addition to a headache, such as the one you experienced, symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, confusion, sensitivity to light or noise, memory problems or even changes in sleep patterns. In milder cases, the symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks, but in more serious cases, prolonged issues with cognitive function can result. While some injured nerve cells can eventually recover, others may sustain permanent damage. If this happens, the injured nerve cells will lose the ability to communicate with healthy cells.

How to proceed

The aftermath of any vehicle crash is chaotic, but it is essential for everyone involved to seek medical attention. Fortunately, you saw a doctor promptly, who was able to diagnose your injury as a concussion. Your next step is to file a claim for insurance compensation, which should cover your medical expenses, any lost wages and more. Keep in mind that the doctor’s medical report will be important in negotiations. It will tie your injury directly to the car crash and help you obtain a fair and just settlement.

 

 

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