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Signs of TBI may not be noticeable after a rear-end crash

Let us say you are waiting for a red light to turn green when your sedan is suddenly struck from behind. The impact causes you to bump your head on the steering wheel.

You think you may develop a goose egg on your forehead, but otherwise, you seem to be okay. Still, intuition tells you to visit your doctor.

Heading for trouble

When you are the victim of a rear-end collision, even one that happens at low speed, the impact causes your head to snap forward and backward. You may sustain whiplash, and you could even suffer a spinal injury. However, if your head hits the steering wheel, you could experience a concussion or traumatic brain injury.

The two forms of TBI

A traumatic brain injury can be either open or closed. Open refers to a situation where a foreign object penetrates the skull and then enters the brain. What is more common is a closed TBI, caused by a bump or blow to the head, such as direct contact with the steering wheel.

How you feel

There are many symptoms of a head injury, but they may not show up for hours or days. Signs to look for include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue or drowsiness, change in sleeping habits, balance issues, trouble remembering things and mood swings.

By the numbers

You may associate head injuries with athletes, but traumatic brain injuries are more often the result of vehicle accidents, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that vehicle crashes account for 14.3 percent of all TBI cases, or 286,000 annually.

A good move

Even if there are no symptoms at the time of a collision, you are wise to promptly see your doctor. Do not take a head injury of any kind for granted; a TBI may require ongoing therapy and a long recovery time. Remember, too, that a medical report links any injury you may have to the rear-end crash. This will provide valuable evidence for the insurance company when you submit a claim for financial compensation to cover costs such as your medical bills.

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