Severe car accidents have a history of causing traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Knowing the levels of TBI can help you determine what type of treatments you will receive in the future. Some TBIs are mild and the symptoms may disappear in time, but seeking a professional opinion is always advised. Certain personal injuries can become worse over time if left untreated. If you suffered a TBI from a negligent driver, be sure to contact a Tennessee car accident lawyer to discuss options for compensation.
When to See a Doctor for TBI
You should see a doctor any time you feel different or experience pain after a car accident. Some injuries, like internal damage or TBIs, can go unnoticed and become worse without treatment. Mild brain injuries can be difficult to recognize at first. Many people may attribute the fatigue and confusion to the shock of the accident.
Symptoms to look out for when it comes to mild TBIs are a brief loss of consciousness, confusion, and feeling different than usual. Moderate TBIs come with more symptoms, like a loss of consciousness or confusion that lasts days after the accident. Some people can also experience movement difficulties, like poor coordination. Problems in thinking, memory, concentration, and mood are also common.
Severe TBIs can cause permanent changes to a person’s behavior, personality, cognition, and physical abilities. Some people may experience numbness, a loss of movement in certain body areas, trouble with communication or language skills, and changes in emotion. People who do not wake up after a hit to the head may have a severe TBI. Seek medical help immediately if they cannot be woken up.
Medical Treatments for TBI
When the doctor initially sees you for a TBI, they may ask basic questions first to determine whether you have been experiencing personality, mood, or behavior changes. In some cases, especially after a serious accident, paramedics will often use the Glasgow Coma Scale. This involves an assessment of your ability to follow instructions and make movements. Imagery tests can also be conducted to see damage to the brain.
Treatments for TBI vary based on the level of severity. Mild TBIs are usually treated with rest and pain killers. In certain cases, you may be told to avoid doing certain things like driving. Moderate-to-severe TBI treatments focus on maintaining blood and oxygen levels. Pressure on the brain may be reduced with diuretics or surgery. Surgery can repair skull fractures and stop bleeding.
Long-term treatments involve physical therapy to help people relearn skills like walking or communicating.