Beware of Delayed Onset Symptoms of Closed-Head Injuries

Many people erroneously believe that if they suffered a brain injury they’d know it or at least the responders treating them would pick up on it. This is not always the case, especially following a traffic accident when adrenaline often masks injuries, and you should be aware that symptoms of a brain injury can be delayed by hours or even days.

In a closed-head injury, brain tissue is damaged when force causes the brain to shift within the cranium. Damage results from shearing — that is, the tissue tearing as the brain shifts — and bruising as the brain strikes the wall of the skull. Motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of closed-head injuries for teenagers and young adults. These injuries affect more than half a million Americans annually.

Many victims of this type of injury have immediate symptoms that are readily associated with traumatic brain injury, such as a headache or a feeling of pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion or “foggy” feeling, amnesia concerning the accident, dizziness, tinnitus, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, delayed response to questions, and fatigue. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, many symptoms may only appear after a significant delay. These include:


  • Depression
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Taste and smell disorders

It is always best to seek immediate medical care after an accident. If for some reason you forego emergency care, you should see a doctor as soon as any of these delayed onset symptoms materialize. An untreated brain injury can have catastrophic consequences, especially if bleeding and swelling of the brain occur. We suggest that you have an MRI to get an accurate diagnosis.

After you’ve sought appropriate medical treatment, be sure to consult a personal injury attorney with specific experience in traumatic brain injury cases. To schedule a free initial consultationat the Law Offices of Brian deBrun, call us at [ln::phone] or contact our office online