Why You Should Take Head and Neck Injuries Seriously After an Accident
Head injuries are a common outcome from car accidents. These injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, are caused by a violent hit or jolt to your head or body. Symptoms can be mild or life-threatening and depend on the severity and type of accident.
You should get a complete medical exam after any car accident to check for serious head, neck, and internal injuries that might not be immediately obvious, even if you feel fine.
Types of Head Injuries
- Mild TBI or Concussion – Symptoms of a mild head injury might include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, and blurred vision. Rest usually takes care of these symptoms. If you’ve had previous concussions, you might have more serious symptoms.
- Moderate TBIs and Post-Concussion Syndrome – Symptoms of a more serious head injury might include sensory deficiencies, changes in mood or sleep patterns, seizures, nausea, vomiting, numbness in the extremities, and increased confusion. These symptoms can last for a few months to a year or more.
- Severe TBIs – Severe TBIs include closed head injuries and open head injuries.
Open head injuries are medical emergencies and must be treated quickly. They are caused by glass, metal, or another foreign object penetrating the brain and skull. These injuries are usually obvious, with blood and other cuts and wounds.
Closed head injuries are not as dramatic but can be just as serious. They’re sometimes called “silent killers” because symptoms can be delayed, and accident victims don’t realize anything is wrong.
Head injuries require a thorough medical exam for appropriate diagnosis and can require lengthy and expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation for recovery.
In addition to head injuries, neck injuries, like whiplash, are common in car accidents. Whiplash usually happens in rear-end car accidents. Most people with whiplash feel better within a few weeks, but some people can have long-lasting pain and complications. Worse outcomes are more likely for people who have had whiplash before, are older, have existing low back or neck pain, or were in a car accident involving high speeds.
Common symptoms of whiplash are:
- Neck pain and stiffness.
- Headaches, usually at the base of the skull.
- Blurred vision.
More serious symptoms are severe neck pain; numbness or tingling in shoulders, arms, or legs; and bladder or bowel issues.
X-rays and other imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs may be needed to assess damage to soft tissues, spinal cord, or nerves.
“Head and neck injuries are serious and can cause lifelong pain and disability if not diagnosed and treated quickly,” said Amy Witherite, attorney at Witherite Law Group. “Even if you think you feel fine after an accident, you should get checked out by a medical professional.”
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck. We’re available 24/7.