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Symptoms of a head injury may not be evident after a crash

You may never have been involved in a car crash, but if you are, seek prompt medical attention, even if you feel fine.

Signs of a potentially serious condition may not show up right away. For example, until symptoms develop several days after the accident, there would be no reason to suspect a traumatic brain injury.

The numbers

Head injuries are common in any kind of vehicle accident. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the traumatic brain injuries reported in the U.S. are the result of falls and motor vehicle accidents. Broken down, car crashes cause about 286,000 such injuries each year.

About TBI

There are two forms of traumatic brain injury. Open TBI refers to an incident where a foreign object penetrates the skull and goes into the brain. Closed TBI, which is more common, results from a blow to the head. There is no open wound associated with this type of injury.

Red flags

Injuries happen, even in minor accidents. If you are the victim of a low-speed, rear-end collision, do not hesitate to seek medical evaluation. Delayed symptoms of a brain injury include headaches, fatigue, a feeling of disorientation or dizziness, blurred vision or pupils that are not dilated equally. You might also develop a sensitivity to noise or to light. If a child is with you in the car, be especially watchful for delayed symptoms, because a brain that is still developing is very susceptible to injury.

Next steps

So much can happen if you suffer a head injury. If you are the victim of a car crash, you are entitled to full and fair compensation for any injuries you sustain. In addition to coverage for your medical expenses, an insurance settlement should also cover lost income, the pain and suffering you experience and the cost of medical care going forward if you suffer permanent disability resulting from your traumatic brain injury.

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