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Are your symptoms a sign of traumatic brain injury?

When you travel by motor vehicle or as a pedestrian in Hawaii, you're at risk for injury. In fact, in high-traffic areas, your risk for collision increases, as well as in certain other situations, such as when navigating intersections or crosswalks. However, you are not responsible for the decisions and behaviors of other travelers. If a driver is negligent, you might suffer temporary or permanent disability due to injuries that result from a collision.

Not every injury is immediately apparent. You might feel a bit sore or suffer numerous scrapes, bruises or lacerations, but otherwise feel okay in the near aftermath of a car accident. Hours, days or even weeks later, you might develop symptoms that suggest you suffered a far more serious injury than you thought, perhaps a traumatic brain injury. It's critical to know how to recognize signs of a TBI and also to know where to seek support if your post-accident health condition declines.

Issues that warrant immediate medical attention

Even a minor car accident can cause injuries. Many times, one of your biggest challenges might be trying to overcome the emotional trauma associated with a collision. In addition to possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the symptoms included in the following list typically signify physical injuries, as well, especially TBI:

  • Impaired cognitive ability: If you feel confused, out of mental focus or are having trouble speaking coherently, it might signify a brain injury. It is important to contact your doctor and inform him or her of your symptoms and also that you were recently in a car accident.
  • Stomach discomfort: High-level emotional stress can cause nausea or other abdominal pain. However, it is also a common symptom associated with TBI. 
  • Trouble walking straight: You might feel a bit unsteady on your feet immediately following a car accident. If your gait continues to be unstable, it warrants further medical examination because it might be a sign that you suffered a brain injury.
  • Smell and taste distortion: Do you have a bad taste in your mouth, or are you having trouble smelling or tasting things? If so, you should know that these are also common symptoms of traumatic brain injury. 
  • Head pain: Any type of head or facial discomfort after a car accident could be a sign of serious brain-related injury.

You'll want to pay close attention to how you feel in the hours, days and weeks following a car accident in which you or your loved one were involved. If you develop ill-health symptoms of any kind, it is always best for a doctor to check you out because it might be related to the accident. Medical care is quite expensive, which is why Hawaii law allows accident victims to seek compensation for damages when other drivers' negligence caused their injuries.

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