If you break your leg in a car crash, you probably realize it instantly. After all, you won’t be able to move your leg or put weight on it without experiencing excruciating pain due to the fracture. However, not all injuries are diagnosable right at the scene of a car crash.
You could potentially suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a car crash and leave the scene without realizing it. TBIs are notorious for having delayed symptom onset. As the inflammation or bleeding around your brain continues, the pressure on different parts of your brain will increase, thereby producing noticeable symptoms of an injury that was invisible at first.
Brain injuries can manifest in many different ways, but the three warning signs below all indicate that you should see a doctor after a car crash.
You lost consciousness
Maybe you don’t remember the crash itself but rather waking up curled around your steering wheel moments later. Maybe you fainted for a moment after the vehicle stopped moving.
Losing consciousness for even a few seconds is a major warning sign that you could have suffered a brain injury. Going to see a doctor and informing them about your blackout or fainting spell will prompt them to check you carefully for signs of a TBI.
Worsening headaches or nausea
As bleeding or swelling inside your skull increases, you will potentially experience significant pain. Having a headache after a car crash isn’t unusual, but it should go away after a dose of over-the-counter analgesics or a good night’s sleep.
If a headache persists or gets worse after a car crash, that is a bright red flag that there may be an injury to your brain. A consistent or worsening sense of nausea or frequent vomiting when you have no other signs of illness could also be your body warning you about a brain injury.
Changes in sensory perception
A significant amount of your brain’s power goes toward analyzing your experiences of the world around you. Your brain processes what you see, smell, hear, feel and taste. If you noticed changes to your senses, ranging from a ringing in your ears and blurry vision to an unexplained change in your sense of taste or smell, an injury to the brain may be the explanation for those unusual symptoms.
Identifying the signs of serious injuries like TBIs after car crashes can help you get the medical support and compensation you need.