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Car accident injuries: Severity not always immediately apparent

Some injuries from car accidents can show up days, months, even years later.

Car accidents are traumatic events. It is not uncommon for those involved to experience some level of shock. This can make it difficult for victims to assess their injuries. In serious accidents, even with shock injuries may be clearly apparent. However, it is not uncommon for serious injuries to emerge hours, days or even months after the accident.

Car accidents and brain injuries: A wound that is not always readily apparent.

Brain injuries are one type of injury that is not always immediately apparent after a car accident. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one example. Immediate symptoms can include confusion, disorientation and loss of consciousness. Long term symptoms can include headaches, visual problems, sleep disturbances, irritability, seizures and vomiting.

Other potential brain injuries that can result from a car accident can include hemorrhages, contusions and hematomas.

Brain injuries and symptoms: When can a doctor diagnose the injury?

In some cases, symptoms of a brain injury may be present immediately and a physician can clearly make a diagnosis. In others, the symptoms may not be clear and a physician may misdiagnose the injury. This was the case with a woman who sought medical care repeatedly after a serious car accident.

The patient explained that she suffered from a constant headache and nasal drainage that was so severe it interfered with her sleep. Most medical professionals provided the same diagnosis: allergies. All but one. One physician dug a bit deeper and found the true cause: a brain fluid leak.

This type of injury is different from a TBI. A TBI is, essentially, the result of the brain moving violently within the skull and impacting within the skull. This results in injury to the brain tissue. In this case, the patient suffered from a hole in the membrane the encapsulates the brain. As a result, she was losing one half pint per day of brain fluid. This fluid is designed to protect the brain and spine. The injury left her susceptible to infections like meningitis. A fairly simple procedure can stop the leak and allow the patient to rebuild the fluid needed to protect against these infections.

The patient had gone to many medical professionals in an attempt to find a diagnosis. The costs of these appointments along with the cost of the procedure to fix the problem could potentially be eligible for coverage through a civil suit.

Lesson to car accident victims: Legal counsel can help mitigate the risk of future financial surprises connected to a serious car accident.

To receive coverage for future medical expenses like this, victims of serious car accidents are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in serious car accident claims can discuss all possible implications of the accident, including future medical needs. When these are accounted for they can be presented within the claim. This will increase the chances that the victim receives the compensation needed to cover all costs that result from the accident.