Fine at first, then dizzy and in pain? You may have a head injury

When you grab your keys and get behind the wheel of your car to drive on a Missouri roadway, you likely think more about your ultimate destination -- along with whatever it is you plan to do there -- instead of what might happen along the way to prevent you from ever arriving. No one likes to go through life thinking in worst-case scenario mode.  

The fact is, however, that even if you are a careful driver, there is a chance that you may cross paths with another motorist who is distracted, falling asleep at the wheel, drunk or otherwise impaired. If that happens and you can't react swiftly and safely enough to avoid a collision, your life may change forever in those few seconds. Sometimes, the devastating results of a crash are immediately apparent, but not always.  

Signs of hidden injuries 

What if another car hits you and in the aftermath, you feel a bit shaky, perhaps a little sore, but other than that, you mostly feel okay? Does that mean you should just go home after police do what they need to do? It definitely does not because some injuries, including blunt force trauma to your brain, may not be immediately apparent. The following information explains the signs of head trauma and offers practical ideas about how to make sure you get the care you need:  

  • If you have a head laceration that penetrates your skull, it is an open injury and is most likely immediately noticeable. 
  • If there is no visible mark on your face or head, you may still have a closed skull injury. 
  • It is critical that you pay close attention to how you feel in the hours, days and even weeks that follow a motor vehicle accident.
  • If you remember hitting your head upon impact in the collision, it's a good idea to inform your medical team so they can examine you, specifically to check for head trauma.
  • Not all head injuries result from bumping or hitting your head. Shaking a person hard enough can cause brain trauma, and in a car accident, if you are thrown forward or ejected from your seat, you may sustain brain injury through the force of movement. 
  • If you experience ringing in your ears, nausea, vomiting, confusion, an unsteady gait, dizziness or headache, it warrants immediate medical attention and you'll want to make sure those tending to you know you were recently in a car accident.  

Head trauma can cause partial or full, temporary or permanent disability. A person can walk away from a car accident appearing barely scathed but hours or days later, wind up in the hospital when symptoms suddenly arise from a traumatic brain injury not diagnosed at the time of the crash. 

Where to seek support 

If you suffer head trauma or any injury in a car accident, you may need to rely on your family and close friends to help you function on a daily basis during your recovery. If your injury is severe and lasting, you may need outside support on a more permanent basis. Many Missouri accident victims also take steps to seek legal accountability against those whose negligence caused their suffering.

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