What is the Truth About Late Appearing Brain Injuries Caused By Car Accidents and How Can a Texas Auto Accident Attorney Help You?

Understanding Delayed Symptoms of TBIs

It’s uncommon to walk away unharmed from a serious car crash, regardless of whether it’s a minor collision or a major disaster. Even if you don’t display any immediate signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it doesn’t mean that you haven’t sustained one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that motor vehicle accidents are the second most common cause of all hospitalizations related to traumatic brain injuries. Some brain injury symptoms may not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident. Here are the indicators you should be aware of.

What is the Truth About Late Appearing Brain Injuries Caused By Car Accidents

Traumatic Brain Injury Classifications

There are two types of traumatic brain injuries. Read on to learn about the difference between each and the associated TBIs.

Open TBI – An open TBI, also known as a penetrating injury, occurs when a foreign object enters the scalp or skull and causes a fracture. This can result in brain damage if the object goes through the skull and enters the brain. The symptoms differ depending on the areas of the brain impacted.

Closed TBI – A closed TBI occurs when an external force hits the head, but the skull remains intact without any breakage or penetration. This type of injury can happen if someone hits their head against the dashboard or windshield during a car accident. The symptoms of a closed TBI can vary based on the area of the brain that is affected, similar to an open TBI.

Here’s what you need to know about these common TBIs and the symptoms associated with each:


A blow or jolt to the head can cause a concussion, which is a common injury resulting from car accidents. This can happen if an external object hits the head or if the head is forced into a car window after impact. To identify if someone has a concussion after a car accident, here are the warning signs to look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue/drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

The following symptoms of a concussion may not show up for days after a car accident:

  • Loss of concentration or memory
  • Irritability or changes in personality
  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depressed moods
  • A diminished sense of taste and smell

Brain Contusion

If you get hit in the head by something or hit your head against something like a steering wheel or car window, you might suffer from a brain contusion. There are some symptoms that may or may not appear immediately.

  • Forgetfulness
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Feeling emotional
  • Depressed moods
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Slurred speech/difficulty forming sentences

Diffuse Axonal Injury

A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a type of severe traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain moves forcefully within the skull, causing damage to the brain’s axons, which are the long connecting fibers. This typically happens during a car crash when the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates inside the skull.

DAI, or diffuse axonal injury, can cause a coma in those affected. Detecting DAI through CT or MRI scans can be challenging because the resulting brain changes may be minor and not easily noticeable. Nonetheless, even with minimal brain changes, the associated complications can be severe. Keep an eye out for the following DAI symptoms.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping/sleeping longer than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination

The Long-Term Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury after a car crash can result in life-long emotional and physical complications, such as:

  • Paralysis
  • Muscle spasticity/uncontrolled movements/stiffness
  • Difficulties with speech/talking
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vision impairment
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Memory issues

The Emotional Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury commonly encounter emotional difficulties and struggle with social relationships and interactions. They may experience feelings of sadness and frustration due to the significant impact of this condition. Often during the recovery process, TBI survivors feel overwhelmed and may encounter anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly if the injury was caused by a car accident.

Some emotional behaviors that a person may experience after a TBI may include:

  • Verbal or physical outbursts
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Risky behaviors
  • Lack of motivation
  • Apathy
  • Negative attitude
  • Inflexible and rigid behavior

In case of a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of whether you feel injured or not. This is particularly important for traumatic brain injuries, where prompt care can significantly impact treatment and recovery.

Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in a Car Accident? We Can Help.

Sustaining a severe brain injury during a car crash can add to the already devastating and overwhelming experience. Coping with this injury can be emotionally draining for both the victim and their family and can result in financial difficulties.

If you or someone close to you has been badly injured in a car accident, you have the legal entitlement to seek compensation. We can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Our proficient car accident attorneys possess knowledge on how to handle the most difficult situations related to insurance companies. We will stand up to insurance companies and their attempts to offer inadequate settlements, ensuring that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

To learn more about your options, call the Law Offices of David Kohm today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.

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