Did you know that "concussion" is just another name for a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Because concussions tend to be spoken about as if they're just a short-term condition, most people don't realize that they can actually have serious, long-term consequences for the victim.
If you've suffered a concussion in a car accident or another kind of injury, it's wise to keep a journal of your symptoms following the event. That's one of the best pieces of information that you can give to your doctors in order to figure out exactly how severe your injuries are and what should be done to treat you. Frankly, that journal may also become very important down the line if you have to pursue a personal injury claim, as well.
How do you know if you have a concussion following an accident?
Sometimes, you may not even realize you hit your head in an accident. For example, if you were in a car accident and the airbag exploded, you may not realize that the force of the airbag deploying can cause a concussion. This means that you will need to look for the symptoms of a concussion and see if you show any of them. Some of the signs of a concussion include the following:
- Blacking out, even briefly
- Feeling like you are in a fog or confused
- Not having a clear memory of the accident
- Seeing flashing lights or "stars" in your vision
- Ringing in your ears or muffled hearing
- Dizziness or a general sense of being off-balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Headaches and difficulty with everyday tasks
- Personality changes and irritability
No matter how mild, none of these symptoms should be taken lightly. Some may go away on their own, but others can also gradually get worse. That's one of the main reasons to keep track of your symptoms so that you can give your doctor an overview of how your condition is progressing over time.
What should you record in your journal?
Generally speaking, you want to record all of the symptoms listed above, including the time of day they occur and the duration of the problem. You should also record (or have someone else keep the record for you) any unusual symptoms or specific incidents that strike you or your loved ones as odd. For example, record things like the following:
- The fact that you suddenly can't recall how you prefer your eggs when you have them for breakfast.
- The fact that you can't seem to recall how to drive a stick-shift, even though you've always known how before.
- The fact that you forgot that you switched banks a year ago and tried to withdraw money from the wrong bank.
A concussion can lead to serious, debilitating conditions. The better your records of the symptoms you're having and the mental changes you've experienced since the accident, the clearer you can present a picture to your doctors and (if necessary) a jury. Insurance companies generally won't accept liability for someone's condition unless you have good documentation of the problems you're having, and a journal helps provide some rather convincing proof over time.
For more information on how to protect your future interests following an accident that left you with a traumatic brain injury, seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.