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Can a traumatic brain injury get worse?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2023 | Car Accident Injuries |

If you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident, you certainly hope that you’re going to experience healing in the days and weeks to come. You hope that as the injury improves, your symptoms will fade and life will “go back to normal.”

But this kind of transition doesn’t always happen. In many cases, a brain injury can actually get worse over time. This is why it’s so important to get prompt treatment and to consider the long-term costs that may be associated with an injury before accepting a legal settlement from an at-fault party if you have recently sustained TBI-related harm.

A secondary brain injury

Secondary injuries can sometimes occur after an initial injury. This can happen because of changes to blood vessels, changes to the chemical composition within the brain or the changes to the brain cells themselves.

Continuing symptoms

In some cases, you may see symptoms that make your overall condition worse. An example of this is inflammation, which puts pressure on the brain as it is squeezed against the inside of the skull. A similar issue can be a subdural hematoma, where bleeding continues within the brain tissues, and that bleeding leads to increased pressure.

Oxygenation issues

Without proper oxygen levels, there can be neuron damage that is irreversible, harming brain cells for life. Injuries can reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to certain parts of the brain, leading to eventual cognitive decline, and, in some cases, apoptosis – the death of brain cells.

What does this mean for you?

If you have been injured, the biggest takeaway is that there’s no guarantee that your symptoms are going to get better or that your body is naturally going to heal. Even if your condition doesn’t seem too serious immediately after a car accident, it remains important to speak with medical professionals. Procrastinating this care, or failing to go to the hospital entirely, can allow symptoms to continue to progress unchecked.

Of course, seeking out this type of emergency medical care can be quite expensive. If another driver caused the accident and was therefore responsible for your injuries – and the costs that go along with them – then you need to know what legal steps you can take to seek compensation. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.