An uneventful trip along a California highway can take a sudden turn for the worse if a distracted or drunk driver is nearby. The blunt force trauma that occurs upon impact in a motor vehicle collision can cause life-threatening injuries. It can also result in hidden injuries, such as a brain injury with delayed symptoms, which is why it is so important to closely monitor a recovering victim’s condition for weeks, after an accident.

Red flag symptoms that merit immediate medical attention

It is not uncommon for someone who has been in a collision to experience pain and discomfort, as well as feelings of emotional trauma. The following list shows symptoms that suggest there may be an underlying problem, such as a traumatic brain injury, that, perhaps, was not noticed right away:

  • Clear fluid or blood leaking from an orifice, such as a nose or ear
  • Unsteady gait when walking
  • Facial or jaw pain
  • Vision impairment
  • Headache that lingers or comes and goes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood swings

If one or more of these symptoms arise in the days or weeks that follow a motor vehicle collision, it is best to immediately report the symptoms to a physician. He or she knows what types of tests to run to rule out or diagnose a traumatic brain injury.

Recovering from a brain injury can be challenging and expensive

A person who suffers a brain injury in a collision is likely to encounter many challenges during recovery. Some damage to the brain may be permanent. A support network of neurologists, physical therapists, counselors and others can help a patient achieve as full of a recovery as possible, although such care often causes a financial crisis, which intensifies post-accident stress. California law enables a person whose brain injury was caused by another driver’s negligence to seek compensation for damages by filing an injury claim in a civil court.

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