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What Are the Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

May 3, 2024

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a type of injury that can occur after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or skull. The sooner a TBI is discovered and diagnosed, the better it is for the patient’s prognosis. Recognizing the potential signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can help an accident victim seek medical care and receive treatment without delay. Keep in mind, if you have discovered you received a TBI due to an accident, contact our brain injury lawyers in Denver today.

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Physical Signs

Every brain injury is unique and no two patients are exactly alike. The signs of a brain injury that a patient notices can depend on factors such as the severity and location of the injury, the victim’s age, and various other circumstances. Someone with a brain injury may notice one, multiple or none of the “typical” signs of injury.

With this in mind, physical symptoms often experienced by brain injury victims include:

  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble with speech
  • Changes in smell or taste
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of consciousness

A severe brain injury could result in clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears, convulsions, seizures, or coma (inability to awaken from sleep). The symptoms of a minor brain injury such as a concussion will generally dissipate within about two weeks. However, moderate to severe brain injuries can have long-lasting consequences.

Cognitive Signs

Brain injuries are unique in that they may not only affect a victim physically. Anything the brain is in charge of controlling – including thought, memory, emotion, motor skills and body regulation – could be affected by a brain injury.

The cognitive signs of a brain injury can include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Short-term or long-term memory loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty keeping up with conversations
  • Trouble organizing thought
  • Brain fog or reduced cognitive functioning

These symptoms may last days, weeks or months depending on the severity of the brain injury and the patient. Severe TBIs can cause irrevocable brain damage that permanently alters the way the victim thinks and acts.

Emotional and Behavioral Signs

Damage to the brain can lead to changes in a victim’s mood, emotions, behaviors and personality. These changes may be temporary or permanent.

Examples include:

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Outbursts
  • Irritability or anger
  • Aggressiveness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Difficulty managing behavior

The psychological effects of a TBI can depend on the location of the brain injury, its severity and the individual patient.

How Soon Will Brain Injury Symptoms Appear?

The signs of a traumatic brain injury may not appear right away. Some brain injuries have delayed symptoms that arise hours or even days later. An injury that causes bleeding or swelling in the brain, for example, may not place enough pressure on the brain’s tissues to develop noticeable symptoms until some time after the accident. This is why it is critical to seek medical care immediately after any accident that inflicts a potential head injury.

What to Do if You Suffer a Brain Injury in an Accident in Denver

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a brain injury after a preventable accident in Colorado, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and more. Consult with our Denver personal injury attorneys at The Fang Law Firm to discuss your legal rights and options. We offer free initial consultations.