When you slip on your grocery store’s wet floor or trip on a cracked North Carolina sidewalk, usually it is no big deal. You recover your balance and keep going. Other times, however, you fall down. If you hit your head on something as part of your fall, you need to be aware that this could be serious. Such a head injury could result in a traumatic brain injury.
A traumatic brain injury is one that causes your brain to dysfunction in some way, and falls are the leading cause of TBIs. A TBI can range from mild to severe in terms of its symptoms and consequences, but you should always see your doctor any time you hurt your head, even when you think it is “just a little bump.” Only your doctor can properly assess that little bump and run the proper tests to determine whether or not you have a TBI. If you do, the sooner you begin receiving the proper treatment, the less likely your TBI will result in catastrophic consequences that could last a lifetime.
No two TBIs are exactly alike, and symptoms can vary from person to person. In addition, while some symptoms tend to occur immediately after your fall, others may not appear until days or even weeks later. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as the following:
- Headaches and/or nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in your ears or blurred or double vision
- Sleeping more or less than usual, but always feeling fatigued or drowsy
- Speech difficulties
- Concentration and/or memory problems
- Mood swings or changes, particularly a lingering feeling of anxiousness or depression
If you sustained a more severe TBI, you could have additional symptoms, including the following:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of your pupils
- Clear fluid draining from your ears or nose
- Slurred speech or loss of words, similar to a stroke
- Increasing confusion
- Unusual anger or combativeness with others
In the most serious cases, a TBI can cause you to slip into a coma or vegetative state and die.
In addition to seeing your doctor as soon as possible after your head injury, you may wish to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Why? Because a TBI can result in catastrophic medical expenses and lost wages from being unable to work while you recover. If your recovery takes months or years, or if you never completely recover, then you face additional expenses for long-term care. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assess your situation and determine whether you should file suit against the person or company responsible for your slip and fall.