A car cuts you off on the interstate on your way home. It hits the corner of your car, sending you into a spin as you slam on the brakes. Your momentum carries you across the thin median and into oncoming traffic, where you get hit by a pickup truck.
That’s the last thing you remember. That moment of terror as you see the truck coming straight at your car, the brakes screeching. Then you wake up in the hospital.
You clearly have some serious injuries. Your neck hurts, your leg is broken, and you have cuts and bruises all over your face. What you really worry about, though, is a brain injury. You know how long a traumatic brain injury can last and how it can change your life, even with a closed injury that does not leave much in the way of exterior evidence. How badly did you really get hurt?
Below are eight potential signs to watch out for:
- Losing consciousness: You check this box. You were out from the moment the truck hit you until you woke up in the hospital. Even passing out for just a few seconds is enough.
- Vomiting and nausea: You can’t keep your food down. The symptoms won’t go away. Even when you know you’re very hungry, eating is often impossible.
- Speech problems: You keep getting stuck on simple words. You can’t remember how to say something correctly, or you use the wrong word when fully intending to say something else. In the most traumatic situations, people can no longer talk at all.
- Dizziness: It feels impossible to keep your balance. Just walking across the room challenges you. On your own, you often fall or feel like you are about to.
- Memory loss: You do not remember things leading up to the accident or after you arrived at the hospital. Gaps exist where you know you should have clear memories. Others have to fill you in, but you still have no recollection of those events.
- Sensitivity: You feel very sensitive to sounds and lights. You keep the lights off entirely in your hospital room. The television is too loud to listen to.
- Depression and anxiety: You cannot stop thinking about the accident and your injuries. The anxiety wears on you, and you feel depression settling in. Even as you physically recover, you just feel worse.
- Personality changes: You deal with mood swings. You hardly feel like the person you used to be. Your family feels like they do not even know you.
As you can see from just these eight potential symptoms, a traumatic brain injury can change your life. Make sure you understand all of your legal rights.