In serious traffic accidents, the bulk of the injuries might not be visible. Even if no victims are bleeding or externally wounded, it might be too early to judge the extent of damage. There may still be severe injuries, particularly in the brain. However, it's difficult to know whether you suffered brain damage right away.
Because so much force is involved in a high-impact crash, a victim could experience a concussion. This happens when the head moves so quickly that the brain collides with the hard wall of the skull. Sometimes, it bounces back and hits the opposite side as well. When this happens, the brain tissue in those areas may become bruised and swollen. The information stored within those sections might not be accessible to the rest of the body until they fully heal, which is why concussions can have many diverse effects.
For example, the front part of the head typically manages cognitive functions. If a driver's head slams into the steering wheel during a crash, they may become easily confused or distracted for several weeks afterward. These changes may be subtle or life-changing depending on the specific way that the crash hurt the brain.
Although the best way to detect brain damage is to visit the doctor following the accident, there are varied signs of concussions, such as:
- Headaches or nausea
- Loss or weakening of sight, smell or sensation
- Dizziness or lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Inability to focus
- Aggressive behavior or moodiness
- Memory loss
- Unconsciousness, even if only for a moment
Your brain controls everything; your personality, skills and day-to-day life might change from the moment the vehicles collided. Healing the brain often takes an extended period of rest, during which you may not be able to work, play sports or practice other hobbies. If you discover that the crash impacted your brain, you should know what options you have in preparation for recovery.