Helping Individuals Who Have Been Hurt By Others

Why people sometimes overlook brain injuries after a crash

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Personal Injury

Some car crash injuries are minor, and others require immediate transportation to a hospital. Someone with a broken bone likely knows that they require treatment as soon as possible. People generally assume that more serious injuries are easier to notice, but that is not always the case.

In fact, people can potentially overlook the signs of some of the most concerning medical challenges caused by motor vehicle collisions. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could create life-altering symptoms. People sometimes become dependent on life support machinery. Other times, they develop changes in personality or motor function challenges.

Yet, oftentimes, people leave the scene of a crash unaware that they have incurred a TBI. Why do people fail to notice the signs of a brain injury after a crash?

Symptoms take time to develop

Frequently, brain injury symptoms are not immediate. It takes a while for the swelling or bleeding inside the skull to cause noticeable symptoms. Initially, people may simply feel a mild headache or a sense of exhaustion. Those seemingly minor symptoms may develop into more concerning signs of a TBI as the injury progresses. Many people realize several days or even weeks after a car crash that they hurt their brains when the collision occurred.

The body covers up early symptoms

The pain and other symptoms likely early after someone incurs a TBI are also easy to overlook because of how the body responds to a car crash. The brain does not differentiate between different types of life-threatening trauma. Instead, it floods the body with the same chemicals after a car crash that it might have used to help someone escape a predator thousands of years ago. Those chemicals give someone a boost of energy and also dull their sense of pain, potentially allowing them to flee a dangerous situation.

Unfortunately, covering up the signs of pain that follow a brain injury might lead to someone claiming at the scene of a crash that they are unhurt. Those individuals might then have a much more difficult time securing appropriate compensation from insurance companies later. The longer the gap between the crash and someone’s diagnosis, be easier it may be for an insurance company to claim that someone hurt themselves after the collision.

Given that it is easy for people to overlook TBI symptoms after a crash, the best response to a collision often involves seeing a physician for diagnosis as soon as possible after a crash. A physician can evaluate someone for signs of a TBI and could potentially catch early warning signs. Those who receive diagnosis and treatment early may have a better prognosis and an easier time cleaning financial compensation for their injuries.