10 May 2023

By Jividen Law Offices, PLLC

In Personal Injury

While injuries like lacerations and fractures are often visible after an accident, the symptoms of others take time to manifest. This is especially true for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), where symptoms can take days, weeks, or years to become apparent. Not only that, the long-term effects of a head injury can last a lifetime. Delayed treatment can worsen the prognosis for accident victims, so it’s critical to seek medical care immediately after an accident.

Don’t underestimate the potential outcomes of even a minor head bump. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a head injury can protect your health and future. Keep reading to learn what to do after a head injury in West Virginia.

Brain Injury Symptoms Can Show Up Years Later

The effects of a brain injury can be traumatic and life-altering, both in the immediate aftermath and for many years to come. The inability to speak, form new memories, express and process emotions, and limited mobility can lead to behavioral changes with impulse control, impact not only the accident victims but also their families and loved ones. These effects are compensable if someone else is to blame for the underlying injury. With help from a skilled brain injury lawyer, you can pursue maximum compensation that accounts for your past, current, and anticipated future losses.

Recent studies have underscored the long-term dangers these injuries pose. One U.S. study showed over 23 million adults over age 40 report a history of head injury with a loss of consciousness in the United States. Further research addresses the long-lasting effects of these head injuries. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently found a correlation between a single head injury and the onset of dementia later in life. Further, the risk of dementia increases with additional head injuries. This research was conducted over a period of 25 years, showing the potential for long-term damage many years after the initial injury.

Why Long-Term Head Injuries Shouldn’t Be Underestimated

What is a traumatic brain injury? The term encompasses a wide range of injuries, from mild concussions to catastrophic trauma leading to death or long-term disabilities.

Johns Hopkins Medicine states TBIs can be classified as primary or secondary. The damage from a primary brain injury is effectively complete at the time of injury. However, the effects of a secondary brain injury take days or longer to appear and are the product of changes to the brain’s chemical, cellular, tissue, or blood structures set in motion by the initial injury.

The danger posed by a delayed onset of symptoms is why long-term head injuries should not be ignored. Seek medical attention immediately after any accident, especially if you hit your head. Medical professionals can run diagnostic tests to determine if you suffered a latent injury. However, not all brain injuries show up on imaging scans right away. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking emergency medical treatment if you experience the following symptoms after an accident:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion, disorientation, agitation
  • Slurred speech
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Worsening headache
  • Inability to recognize people
  • Seizures, convulsions, or numbness


Should I Go to Urgent Care for a Head Injury?

If you do not have a primary care physician, you may be inclined to go to an urgent care facility for your general medical needs. Urgent care clinics are same-day medical providers that treat various health problems. These facilities are typically quicker and cheaper than hospital emergency rooms (ERs). However, the practitioners may need more equipment or training to rule out head injuries effectively. Because the long-term health risks associated with head injuries are so severe, visit a traditional ER instead of urgent care if you believe you suffered a TBI.

Can You Have a Brain Injury with No Symptoms?

Yes. You can have a brain injury with no symptoms — at least initially. Over time, you might notice cognitive, mechanical, or behavioral issues. The longer you delay treatment, the worse the consequences of these symptoms may become.

According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, many people suffer from memory and behavioral consequences of untreated TBIs, often without realizing it. So-called unidentified TBIs are often the result of accidents, sports injuries, and physical abuse the person suffered in the past.

Long-term Consequence sof a Head Injury

The consequences of a head injury can last indefinitely and sometimes permanently. The most common effects of a TBI include:

  • Cognitive changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulties with motor coordination
  • Sensory changes, including visual impairments, difficulty regulating body temperature, and bowel control
  • Loss of speech
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Personality changes
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.


Long-term Effects

These effects can have additional consequences of their own, including:

  • Loss of job opportunities
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Long-term medical expenses
  • Inability to live independently
  • 24-hour nursing care
  • Assistive medical equipment

If someone else is to blame for you or a loved one’s brain injury, they could owe you compensation for the harm you suffered. An experienced Wheeling personal injury attorney can review your situation to determine if you have a case.

If You Believe You Have a Head Injury, Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Now

If you sustained a head injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Wheeling, WV, a personal injury lawyer with Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, can help you demand justice and compensation. When you work with us, you can expect quality legal services delivered with a personal, small-town touch. We have a reputation for obtaining results that count. We value community involvement as a means of helping others and getting to know our neighbors in West Virginia and throughout the Tri-State Area.

Contact us today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help.