Whether it is a serious motor vehicle collision or a fall from height, many accidents result in brain damage. Physicians characterize a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by several different types of symptoms including physical symptoms, cognitive symptoms and emotional symptoms. While many of these can be life-changing, many more remain hidden until well after the inciting event.
While numerous symptoms such as loss of balance, memory impairment or communication struggles might become immediately apparent after an accident, many diagnosticians become perplexed when symptoms do not appear for days or weeks following the motor vehicle collision. Medical professionals refer to these as an unidentified brain injury or a “hidden TBI.”
Why is it called a hidden injury?
The TBI remains hidden when time severs the link between the injury and the accident. Personality changes, for example, or emotional distress that manifests as depression or anxiety could appear so long after the collision that the link is unclear. A hidden TBI is dangerous because the late onset of the trouble means these particular symptoms were missed in the initial diagnosis and treatment plan. Leaving neurological brain damage unchecked for days or weeks can open the victim up to devastating, irreversible conditions.
With an undiagnosed TBI, the victim could suffer cognitive and emotional impairment that might irreparably harm their personal and professional lives. A dramatic personality change could devastate a long-term personal relationship just as it might make a chosen career untenable.
After a serious accident, it is crucial that victims seek a thorough, careful medical evaluation of all injuries sustained. The victims must convey every symptom, no matter how seemingly minor, to ensure the physician can properly diagnose the condition. Additionally, when new symptoms become apparent, the victim must immediately discuss them with their chosen medical professional who can then alter the course of treatment.