Whenever you are in an accident, the first thing you should do is assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. Worry about other vehicles and damage to the car itself after the initial emergency check-over. While some injuries, such as abrasions and broken bones are immediately noticeable, some injuries are not immediately identifiable. Internal injuries such as those to the brain often do not show any signs or symptoms for days or even weeks after a trauma. Even though these traumatic brain injuries do not show immediate signs of injury, they still can have serious and permanent repercussions. It is important to realize this because early detection and obtaining immediate medical care thereafter have been shown to be the key to making a good recovery after a traumatic brain injury.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
An intracranial injury, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI), is an injury or damage to the brain itself, including its cells and structures, and often occurs as a result of sudden trauma to the head. Car accidents, slip and falls, assaults and explosions are the top incidents resulting in brain injuries. While most people assume that direct impact with the head, such as hitting the window or steering wheel, is necessary to cause a severe injury, that is simply not true. Medical literature shows that the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the automobile not only causes whiplash, but it also causes the brain to bounce around within the cranial cavity. This bouncing, twisting, and rotation can stretch or even sever communication between nerve cells and fibers in your brain. When nerve cells and fibers are injured, people can lose mobility, lose memory, experience severe anxiety and depression and even result in losing the ability to smell and taste food.