Compared to a broken leg, briefly passing out during a car crash may not seem like a big deal. Drivers who lose consciousness or whose passengers report a brief loss of consciousness might ignore a warning sign of one of the most dangerous injuries someone could suffer in a car crash.
Anyone who passes out, faints or otherwise loses consciousness during or right after a car crash should go to the hospital for medical evaluation. Not getting care right away could mean symptoms that get worse over time and possibly become irreversible.
Losing consciousness is a warning sign of a head or brain injury
Trauma to the head or brain can cause a sudden loss of consciousness. Most people understand that if they hit their head on the window, steering wheel or dashboard that they might black out because of that injury. What people don’t seem to understand is that a loss of consciousness is a red flag that they are at risk for serious traumatic brain injuries.
You don’t have to hit your head. The force and motion of the crash can be enough to cause a brain injury. Even a blackout that only lasts a few seconds could be a sign of a mild traumatic brain injury. However, when someone loses consciousness for several minutes, that is a warning of a moderate to severe brain injury.
Anyone who hits their head or loses consciousness for even the smallest amount of time should go immediately to seek medical care after making the necessary statement to the police after the crash.
Timely mediate care is crucial
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can continue to get worse if left untreated. Especially if there is bleeding inside the skull or swelling of the brain, the pressure caused by that untreated injury might cause worse symptoms as time goes on. In some cases, people will develop permanent issues if not treated quickly for a TBI.
Quick diagnosis means a better chance of getting good care and a quicker recovery for someone with a brain injury. It also will make it easier for that person to get compensation from an insurance claim. Delays in medical care can make it easier for insurance companies to claim that the traumatic brain injury isn’t the result of a crash or wasn’t really that serious. Seeing a doctor soon after a crash protects you medically and legally.