Accidents happen every day. Driving a car, working or even walking through a store can result in a sudden event, like a slip-and-fall or a collision. After an accident, you may experience a number of feelings.
Many people respond with a sense of embarrassment, especially if the accident is at work or a place of business with a lot of witnesses. If you don't seem badly hurt, you may brush yourself off and try to act like the accident wasn't a big deal. Unfortunately, doing so can end up being a big mistake.
Any accident where your body and head get jostled or your head gets struck by something could prove to be serious. If you blacked out, even for a few seconds, you should report the accident to someone, like a manager, and seek immediate medical care. You could have sustained a serious brain injury. Failing to do so could result in the potential for a worse medical outcome.
Brain injury symptoms are often delayed
Your brain is soft tissue, enclosed by a hard skull. In accidents where your head is shaken or struck, your brain can end up injured, bruised or swollen. Because your skull is so solid, there is no where for excess fluids (like blood from bruising) or swollen tissue to go. That means that untreated brain injuries can worsen over time.
The most serious symptoms from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could take days or even weeks to fully develop. Those symptoms will likely persist until swelling goes down or the injured person gets medical treatment. Symptoms include:
- slurred speech
- blurry vision
- loss of consciousness
- nausea or vomitting
- changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or inability to sleep)
- memory loss
- issues with cognition
You shouldn't wait for serious symptoms to arise. If you struck your head hard enough to black out, the potential for a serious TBI exists. Instead of waiting until things get worse, you should seek care as soon as possible. Doing so could reduce the severity or duration of your symptoms. It can also protect you from a financial standpoint.
Medical care helps connect your symptoms to the injury
Reporting an accident to law enforcement, a manager of a business or your supervisor is critical. Doing so helps ensure that if you need extensive medical interventions, the symptoms you have can easily get connected to your accident. The longer you wait to seek an initial evaluation, the harder it may become to prove that your symptoms weren't the result of something else.
Additionally, the sooner a doctor evaluates your injury, the better your potential prognosis could be. Surgery or even medication could alleviate swelling and bruising and help prevent it from getting worse over time.