Whether you were in a motor vehicle accident, a work-related accident or some other calamity, you may have felt lucky to walk away relatively unscathed. Perhaps you had no outer signs of injury, so you counted your blessings and went home.
Unfortunately, several injuries may not show signs until later, and by then, your life could be in jeopardy. For instance, if you hit your head but didn’t think it was serious, you could find out later that you were more seriously injured than you thought at first.
A closed-head injury can hide from you
Even if you show no outer signs of injury at the scene, you may have suffered a closed-head injury, which means you suffered a traumatic brain injury with no outward signs such as lacerations. It could be serious without you even knowing it. In the hours and days following the accident, you may begin to notice the following symptoms that something is just not right:
- Hearing or vision problems, such as sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights
- Feeling tired, dizzy and/or lightheaded
- Difficulty walking, speaking or maintaining your balance
- Difficulty paying attention or concentrating
- Memory problems or confusion
- Behavior changes, such as feeling more easily irritated
- Losing consciousness even if for only a few seconds
- Blood or fluid leaking from the nose or ears
- Bleeding, swelling or bruising around your eyes, face or on your scalp
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to seek medical attention immediately. A closed-head injury could involve bleeding on the brain, which can be life threatening. The sooner you receive treatment, the better off you may be in the long run. Even so, you could end up with issues lasting weeks, months or even the rest of your life.
A closed-head injury can disrupt your life temporarily or permanently. You may need to put all your energy into your recovery. Even in the short term, you may need aggressive medical treatment and time off work. You may not be able to participate in activities you enjoyed prior to the accident.
What caused your closed-head injury?
If another person’s actions led to your injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation to help with your medical and other expenses related to the accident and your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for you to file a personal injury claim, a workers’ compensation claim or a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. It would be in your best interests to work with an attorney well-versed in all three areas of law in order to help ensure you receive everything to which you are entitled.