Slate’s Law Blog

Traumatic Brain Injury and New Mexico Car Accident Cases

It is not always easy to tell, from looking at a person who has just been involved in a motor vehicle collision, how serious the person’s injuries are. Someone who is bleeding profusely may just need a few stitches and may not have any bone fractures or internal injuries. On the other hand, someone who has a concussion or whiplash injury might look and feel fine at first, but then the pain grows worse after the next few days, and an apparently minor sprain to an ankle or wrist might result in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which can interfere with the person’s normal use of the affected hand or foot for months or even years.  

If you hit your head in a car accident, you should not assume that you are not seriously injured, even if you feel normal in the immediate aftermath of the accident when the ambulance arrives.  Instead, you should go to the emergency room to find out whether you have a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) and begin treatment so that you can have the easiest possible recovery. After that, the next step is to contact a Santa Fe car accident lawyer.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Any injury that involves getting hit hard on the head can cause a concussion or TBI; a concussion is simply the mildest type of TBI. It can happen during a motor vehicle accident, accidental fall, or violent assault, or even as a result of playing contact sports such as tackle football or rugby. If the TBI is mild, you might not lose consciousness at all, or you might lose consciousness only briefly, but then you might wake up after a few seconds. Symptoms tend to worsen in the hours following the injury, and they include the following:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Dizziness and impaired balance
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Abnormal sense of smell or taste
  • Confusion
  • Mood changes such as anxiety, depression, or irritability

More severe TBI may cause longer periods of loss of consciousness; it can also cause seizures. Except in very severe cases, the physical and emotional symptoms of TBI resolve over time, but they can seriously interfere with your ability to engage in your usual activities.

Your Rights After Suffering TBI in a Car Accident

If you suffered a concussion or TBI, you have the right to compensation for your accident-related medical expenses from the party responsible for the accident, such as the at-fault driver or, in the case of an accident caused by a work vehicle, the employer of the at-fault driver. If your TBI was severe enough that you had to take an extended leave of absence from work, then you can also recover compensation for the income you lost as a result of your injury.

Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in car and truck accidents.  Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.

Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash