Motor vehicle accidents are common occurrences that no one ever wants to think about. They can be extremely traumatic and nerve-racking. But, it is better to know what to do before an accident ever happens, especially, if you or someone you know suffers serious injuries in an accident. For what steps you should take generally after a motor vehicle accident, you should review the Three Things To Do Immediately After A Car Accident.
The focus of this article, however, is to discuss some common symptoms of head injuries from motor vehicle accidents and why you should not delay seeking treatment if you experience these symptoms and suspect you may have a head injury.
What Is a Head Injury?
Generally, a head injury is any type of injury, damage or wound caused to your brain or skull. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, in a lot of cases, a head injury is difficult to determine. Of course, if a person suffers a severe skull fracture in a serious car accident and is bleeding profusely from the head, it will not be terribly difficult to conclude that he or she suffered a head injury. This type of head injury is considered an open head injury, because the skull or scalp is broken.
But, in many cases a person may suffer a closed head injury. This is where the skull or scalp is not broken or opened from an accident. A closed head injury does not mean that it is less severe than an open head injury, but is more difficult to diagnose or determine. An example of a closed head injury is a concussion. A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.
Common Symptoms of a Head Injury
If you or someone you know has been hurt in motor vehicle accident it can be difficult to determine if a head injury was sustained. Here are some common symptoms to look for after an accident to determine if a head injury was sustained:
If an accident victim exhibits any of the above symptoms it is possible he or she suffered a head injury. There are different levels of traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild to severe. It can also be hard to evaluate how serious a head injury is just by looking. For this reason it’s very important to consider all head injuries serious and seek medical attention immediately to be assessed by a doctor. In a recent case our office settled our client was rear-ended by a tractor trailer on I-290 in Auburn, Massachusetts. The rear-end collision by the 18-wheeler was severe, as you could imagine, and our client was knocked unconscious. He was transported to the UMass Memorial Medical Center Trauma Center and was severely nauseous and was vomiting. In that case, it was not very difficult to assume he suffered a traumatic brain injury. In another case, a woman was t-boned in an intersection in Milford, MA and struck her head on the driver side window. She had a headache, was very drowsy and felt “off”. She saw her primary care physician right away, who determined she suffered a concussion. As you can see, the signs and symptoms of a head injury present in very different ways.
Reasons You Should Not Delay Seeking Medical Treatment for a Head Injury
As stated above, if you or someone you know was injured in an accident and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, you should not delay in seeking medical attention.
Your Health Should Be Your Primary Concern
First and foremost, your health and safety should be your number one priority. If you suspect a head injury, you should see a doctor right away and explain your symptoms so you can get the proper medical attention and advice. Seeking professional medical attention immediately will reduce the risk of the traumatic brain injury getting worse and provide you with medical advice that will afford you the information and advice you need to recover from the head injury.
The brain needs time to heal after a concussion or head injury. Failing to seek medical attention and continuing with your normal daily routine may subject you to worsening your condition or possibly suffering another concussion. Do yourself a favor, and see a doctor immediately.
Head Injuries in Personal Injury Claims
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by someone else, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses and injury by filing a personal injury clam with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Don’t hurt your personal injury claim by failing to seek medical attention.
Sometimes when people are involved in motor vehicle accidents, they are shaken up and make statements that they are fine. These statements can be incorporated into a police report or motor vehicle crash report. Insurance companies employ the use of many different tactics to try and minimize injuries and pay less than they should for injuries. If you delay in seeking medical attention, the insurance company may argue that you were not really hurt or, if the delay was significant (i.e. weeks or months), they may argue that you may have been injured somewhere else or the head injury is not related to the motor vehicle accident.
For these reasons, it is important to explain your symptoms, even if they seem minor to you at the time, to any police officers or emergency medical technicians (EMTs) that arrive at the accident scene. This documents your complaints of a possible head injury so an insurance company cannot later argue that you never claimed to have hurt your head. You should also see your doctor right away and follow their treatment protocol. Head injuries can present long term problems and, if so, you deserve to be fairly compensated for any losses, pain and suffering the head injury causes. Seeking medical attention and following through with your doctor’s recommendations will help you get the proper medical attention and financial compensation you deserve.
Speak to a Lawyer if You Suffer a Head Injury in an Accident
If you, or someone you know, suffered a head injury or concussion in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney. Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has decades of experience handling injury claims for car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. Feel free to contact us with any questions, find out what your legal rights are, or to schedule a complimentary case evaluation. You may call us at 508-879-3500, or contact us online. We are happy to help and answer your questions.