When you are in a serious car accident, the wreck can happen in an instant. In mere seconds, you can go from trying to avoid an oncoming car, to spinning out, to your car rolling over and then realizing you received an injury in the crash. If you survive a crash where your car is a total loss and don’t break any bones, you may feel relief. However, you still may have a serious injury. About 20% of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations occur because of serious car accidents, and the symptoms don’t always surface immediately.

Signs of a minor traumatic brain injury

Most traumatic brain injuries are minor and include the following symptoms:

  • Losing consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
  • Feeling dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Feeling dizzy or losing your balance
  • Having headaches
  • Feeling nauseated or vomiting
  • Feeling drowsy, fatigued or sleeping more than normal
  • Having blurred vision

Signs of a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury

Devastating auto accidents also can cause a moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, which includes these symptoms:

  • Losing consciousness for several minutes or several hours
  • Having persistent headaches or a headache that worsens
  • Vomiting repeatedly or feeling nauseated a lot
  • Experiencing convulsions or seizures
  • Feeling weakness in toes and fingers
  • Feeling profound confusion
  • Slurring speech

Seeking TBI treatment

Whether you have symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a more moderate or severe one, you should seek treatment immediately. Concussions often are mild traumatic brain injuries, yet if you’ve had one before, you are more likely to receive a second one. Untreated moderate and severe TBIs can cause serious damage to the brain.

So, whenever you are in a bad car accident, don’t refuse medical treatment on the scene. You may not realize immediately if you have a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury. If you feel some of the symptoms listed above later, again seek immediate medical help. You not only want to recover fully from your injury, but to document your TBI for any needed injury claims.