Many car accident victims in Ontario decline a medical examination if they have no apparent injuries. However, concussions and traumatic brain injuries could be hidden for days or even weeks after the accident. Any time a person strikes his or her head or whiplash movements cause the head to move rapidly upon the impact of a collision, brain injuries could occur.
Common concussion symptoms include nausea, vomiting, confusion, blurry or double vision, headache and ringing in the ears. Sometimes an injured victim could briefly lose consciousness.
Less common symptoms of concussion
During an incident that causes the head to move forward and backward by force, the brain smashes into the skull’s rigid inner walls. When this happens, damage to brain cells, nerves and blood vessels could cause traumatic brain injuries. The following symptoms could indicate more severe injuries:
- Loss of consciousness: unconsciousness that exceeds a few minutes
- Inability to stay alert: inability to be fully attentive within 30 minutes after the injury occurred
- Diffuse headache: persistent pain in the entire head, beyond the injured area
- Bleeding from ears: blood can drip from an ear if a skull fracture damaged a blood vessel
- Seizure: a seizure, even days after the injury, could indicate brain trauma
- Fluid from ears or nostrils: clear fluid could indicate cerebrospinal fluid from a torn brain lining
- Abnormal pupil dilation: unequal pupil dilation or constriction to light could mean dangerous pressure
If you are injured in a car accident, you are advised to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. If you decline a trip to the hospital, delayed symptoms, such as these brain injury symptoms, might not be appropriately linked to the car accident. That could limit the recovery of damages if you decide to file personal injury lawsuits at a later stage.