Auto accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. After a person experiences a car crash, he or she can have a TBI even without visible bruises, cuts or injuries to the head. Some injuries of this kind cause distinctive bruises under the eyes and around the ears.

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms after an auto accident, seek immediate medical help. The signs of a TBI can arise right away or in the days and weeks following the collision.

Physical indications of a TBI

A TBI may or may not result in a loss of consciousness at the time of the injury. Other physical signs of a brain injury include the following:

  • Dazed state, disorientation and confusion
  • Trouble balancing
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Speech problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sound and light sensitivity
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Numb extremities

Mental and emotional TBI symptoms

Changes in mood, temperament and behavior can also signal the presence of a TBI. Be aware of symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Compromised performance at work or school
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Unexpected mood swings
  • Unusual or combative behavior

TBI prevention

Taking steps to be a safe driver or passenger can reduce your risk of brain injury in an auto accident. Most importantly, wear your seat belt even for short trips. Secure your child in an appropriate and correctly installed safety seat for his or her age, weight and height. Do not drink and drive and do not ride with other drivers who have been drinking.

Seek medical treatment for any head injury. Severe TBI can lead to complications including coma, amnesia, long-term cognitive issues and even death.

When another driver’s negligence causes an auto accident, you may recover the costs associated with your injuries. Document the medical care you receive after a car crash, even if your injuries do not manifest right away.