If you were driving along a South Dakota road during your commute to work or on a trip to run errands when another vehicle slammed into your car, the next hours of the day may have been filled with emotional trauma and pain, due to injuries. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have trouble sleeping or to suffer anxiety because of post-traumatic stress for weeks, even months after a collision. It’s also possible for delayed symptoms to develop, which is why it’s important to closely monitor your condition.
If you suffered a broken bone, contusions or lacerations upon impact in a crash, your injuries may be immediately apparent. However, some types of injury, including a traumatic brain injury, may not be noticeable right away, especially if you retained consciousness when the other vehicle hit you. There are several symptoms that merit immediate medical attention, even if many days have passed since the accident occurred.
Report these symptoms to your primary care physician or return to the hospital
You can expect to feel sore and upset after a motor vehicle collision, and you might need to take time off work to recover. The following list shows symptoms that suggest you may have a more serious, underlying problem, such as a traumatic brain injury:
- Weakness in a limb or paralysis
- Imbalance, when standing or walking
- Confusion or inability to understand simple concepts
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abrupt mood swings
These are just a few of numerous types of brain injury symptoms that might not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of a collision. If you develop any of these symptoms during recovery, it’s best to seek immediate medical attention. It’s also important to let the attending physician know that you were recently involved in a collision, so that he or she knows what tests to run to diagnose or rule out a brain injury.
Treatment for a brain injury depends on severity of symptoms
If you have a headache after having been involved in a car crash, a doctor might diagnose you with a concussion, which is a brain injury. If the injury is mild, you might simply need to get rest in a quiet, darkened room for several days or a week or two to recover. A severe brain injury often requires additional treatment, perhaps, even surgery if the situation becomes life-threatening due to internal bleeding or swelling of the brain.
If your cognitive or physical abilities have been affected by a collision-induced brain injury, you might need physical therapy or occupational therapy to help you restore function. Sadly, a severe brain injury can sometimes leave a person incapacitated and unable to function daily without assistance.
Recourse for accident victims
When damages have occurred due to another driver’s negligence, the care and treatment you need to help you achieve as full a recovery as possible may cause financial distress, especially if you’re unable to work. South Dakota laws enables recovering accident victims to seek restitution in court against those deemed responsible for their injuries.