Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are Personal Injury Trial Lawyers

Brain Injury Lawyers

TBI Signs and Symptoms

Traumatic brain injury cases are some of the hardest to work-up and present to an insurance adjuster or a jury. Unless our client was found by EMS unconscious at the scene, has a positive CT scan or MRI, and “looks” like he has suffered a brain injury, then the auto insurance adjuster will push back as to the severity of the traumatic brain injury and even whether the victim suffered one at all.

The main argument we hear with most every non-catastrophic TBI claim is, “They didn’t lose consciousness at the scene and their Glasgow Coma Score was 15 at the scene (See our blog on diagnosing TBI). In fact, this is so common, we already have the literature scanned in, highlighted, and ready to forward to the adjuster when they begin making these arguments. The second most common argument is, “They didn’t report any symptoms until ____ days/weeks/months later.” Once again, we have the literature scanned in, highlighted, and ready to send to dispute this argument as well.

TBI symptoms may present themselves immediately while others do not begin to appear until days, weeks or even months later. These delays may be such that the victim does not even relate them to the crash, or the symptoms may be so subtle at first, that the victim doesn’t even realize they are there until they continue to worsen or family, friends and coworkers begin to notice them.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms tend to fall into one of three categories1 – Thinking/Remembering, Physical, Emotional/Mood. The CDC includes sleep symptoms in their own category.2 Below is a list of signs and symptoms often associated with a traumatic brain injury3:

Physical TBI Symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Severe or worsening headache
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Clear fluids draining from nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • Loss of coordination
  • Balance problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Coma or other disorders of consciousness
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Getting lost easily
  • Increased sensitivity to light or sound
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Light headedness, dizziness
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, reading, or acting
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Thinking/Remembering TBI Symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to remember what happened before or after the accident
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Word recall problems
  • Difficulty speaking coherently
  • Repeating themselves
  • Cannot recognize people/places
  • Difficulty remembering new information

Emotional/Mood TBI Symptoms:

  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
  • Changes in mood
  • More emotional
  • Increase in nervousness/anxiety
  • Moodiness, sudden and without reason
  • More easily distracted

Due to many of these symptoms appearing later on after the accident and increasing in severity, they may not be reported to initial healthcare providers and so no diagnosis is made. Down the road, victims may not realize that the late-developing or worsening symptoms are related to the car accident, and follow-up providers or primary care physicians may not be aware the victim was involved in a car crash because the victim does not think to tell them. All of these issues can lead to a TBI victim never being diagnosed and, therefore, left to suffer without any help from a treatment provider.

When we interview each potential client at our office, we go through a battery of questions related to potential injuries. A significant amount of that time is spent asking questions related to TBI symptomology. One of our worst nightmares is that we fail to help our client be in the best position to make as full of a recovery as possible.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, please call Snellings Law and set up a free appointment to see if we can help.


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