Remember back in the day when TV and movie comedians elicited huge laughs from their audiences by taking pratfall after pratfall? While these carefully choreographed falls may still bring a smile to your face, you could have nothing to laugh about if you slip and fall in Pennsylvania. In fact, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury.
A TBI is an often catastrophic head injury that could render you disabled for the rest of your life, and falls are the leading cause of TBIs. In a TBI, your head and/or neck takes a blow of sufficient intensity that your brain violently sways back and forth in your skull, injuring its cells, tissues and/or nerves. Those injuries, in turn, can cause your brain to malfunction.
Time is of the essence
When you fall and hit your head, you may have no immediate TBI symptoms, but this does not mean that you did not injure your brain. One of the most frightening aspects of a TBI is that its symptoms may not appear until hours, days or weeks after your slip-and-fall accident. Consequently, it is crucial that you receive immediate medical attention. A trained head trauma physician knows what to look for, what tests to run and what treatment(s) to begin if indeed you suffered a TBI.
It is possible that you can minimize the effects of your TBI if you begin immediate treatment. The longer you wait before receiving the treatment you need, the more likely it is that your TBI will have long-lasting effects, many of which can last for a lifetime. With these effects can come extraordinary costs, including the following:
- Possible surgery
- Prescription medications
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Extensive in-home or assisted living care
- Loss of wages
Given that your brain contains thousands of cells, nerves and other delicate tissues, your TBI is unique to you. No two TBIs are the same. However, some common symptoms that you should watch out for after your slip and fall include the following:
- Frequent headaches or periods of nausea, vomiting or dizziness
- Difficulties seeing clearly or hearing properly
- Speech difficulties
- Memory or concentration difficulties
- Feelings of disorientation, unreality or confusion
- Mood swings and other personality changes such as increased anger, anxiety, depression or aggressiveness
If you or your family notices any of these symptoms in the days or weeks after your slip-and-fall accident, be sure to report them to your doctor as soon as possible.