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Dealing with traumatic brain injury after an accident

If you were in a high-impact car crash and hit your head, traumatic brain injury ranks among the more serious potential consequences. Although medical literature categorizes TBI as severe, moderate or mild, make no mistake: even "mild" TBI means you have sustained damage to your brain, making it a serious injury.

TBI can occur when you hit your head against a surface or suffer a penetrating wound to the skull. It often happens in car accidents where your vehicle comes to a sharp stop while traveling fast.

The effects of severe TBI are usually obvious

Generally, if you sustain severe TBI, you and first responders will realize this quickly. This injury's hallmarks include loss of consciousness for half an hour or more and noticeable memory loss. Other effects may include serious impairment to bodily functions, reduction of cognitive function, memory loss and speech impairment. In extreme cases, effects may include paralysis or coma. These symptoms can set in within hours or days of the accident.

Mild and moderate TBI can be harder to identify

Moderate and mild TBI symptoms can take longer to show up. Many people initially mistake them for normal ailments and do not realize they could relate to an accident they had several days or even weeks ago. Common signs include headaches, drowsiness, mood changes, distractability and nausea. Sufferers may also experience slight problems with speech, thought processes or memory. In the time following your accident, note any of these or similar symptoms and see a doctor as soon as possible.

You may be entitled to compensation

Even the milder forms of TBI can negatively impact your ability to earn a living. Many people with TBI need ongoing treatments that may include speech therapy, rehabilitative therapy, medication, surgery and even long-term care. If your accident happened due to another person's negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for the harm you suffered and for future likely harm and loss.

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