After a car accident, many people take stock of their own injuries and those of others in their vehicles before figuring out what to do next. If they do not see any obvious injuries or feel any pain, it is tempting to assume that they got away from the accident without injury.
But this is not always the case. Many injuries do not cause pain but can still cause major complications. This is especially true of brain injuries.
Although mild brain injuries (often called concussions) may appear less severe than other types of injuries, they still pose very serious threats to accident victims. If you suffered a blow or sudden jolt to the head, symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks. However, once symptoms emerge, your daily routines and responsibilities may very suddenly become too much to manage.
Often, a mild brain injury may cause changes in a victim’s ability to focus and perform basic job duties or normal daily activities. Someone who works in an office setting may no longer remember how to use the copy machine or operate software programs.
At the same time, the loss of ability to perform familiar tasks is often paired with an inability to control irrational, sometimes explosive, reactions to frustration. To those who do not know that a victim suffered a brain injury, this behavior may look more like substance abuse, immaturity or even mental illness.
Unfortunately, the combination of forgetfulness, inability to focus and increased frustrations can be destructive at work as well as in the home.
Another common symptom of a minor brain injury is a “scrambling” of the connections between the victim’s vocabulary, reading comprehension and ability to understand context in conversations and written materials.
Victims of minor brain injuries can misinterpret what they read or hear. This can quickly create unfortunate conflicts on the job and in interpersonal relationships. This is especially true for workers who must operate as part of a team.
What to do after a head injury
If you recently suffered a blow to the head, whether in a car wreck or another type of accident, make sure that you receive proper medical care. Swiftly diagnosing and treating minor brain injuries can prevent further disruption to your personal and professional life.