Head and brain injuries should always be taken seriously and treated with the utmost care. Even a brain injury that is classified as mild can have major long-term effects on the victim – especially if the victim never receives professional medical care for the injury. Failing to go to a doctor or follow a treatment plan after suffering a head injury increases the risk of experiencing long-term or even permanent damage.

The Importance of Immediate Medical Treatment for a Head Injury

Head and brain injuries require immediate medical care to prevent further damage from being done to the brain (known as secondary brain injuries). If an incident such as a car crash impacts the head and causes swelling in the brain, for example, emergency surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure in the head and prevent further injury. Prompt treatment can provide the care that the victim needs to minimize brain cell damage and facilitate healing. If left untreated, a head injury is more likely to result in long-lasting physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional and psychological problems.

Physical Symptoms

An untreated brain injury can cause mild to severe physical symptoms that can alter a victim’s life and reduce their quality of living. These symptoms may make it impossible to work regularly, enjoy quality time with family members and participate in social activities. Some of the most common long-term physical symptoms of a head injury include:

  • Persistent headaches or migraines
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of balance or vertigo
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Seizures or post-traumatic epilepsy
  • Paralysis 
  • Susceptibility to infections and pneumonia
  • Degenerative brain diseases
  • Increased morbidity rates

While there may be ways to control or reduce these symptoms, such as medications and therapies, the physical challenges that can come with untreated head injuries are often enough to significantly impact a survivor’s life. Failing to see a doctor increases the chances of these symptoms lasting far into the victim’s future.

Cognitive Challenges

In addition to physical symptoms, an untreated head injury can also come with cognitive changes that can make even simple daily tasks a challenge. Examples include:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Issues with attention and concentration
  • Difficulties with communication
  • Trouble with math or numbers
  • Short-term or long-term memory loss
  • Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia

These issues can affect a victim’s personal and professional life. It may take longer than usual to complete cognitive tasks, for instance, or alter the victim’s relationships with others. In severe cases, cognitive changes from a brain injury can make a victim entirely dependent on a caregiver.

Behavioral Changes

Finally, a head or brain injury can cause lasting behavioral, personality, and emotional changes in a victim. Brain injuries can impact the area of the brain that regulates emotion. This can lead to increased aggression, outbursts, anger, and frustration in a survivor. Someone with a brain injury may be quicker to anger than they were before the injury, for instance. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can trigger mental health disorders and take an emotional toll on the victim and his or her loved ones. In addition, a head injury can cause trouble sleeping, which can exacerbate personality and behavioral changes.

Do You Have a Head Injury? A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a head or brain injury in San Antonio, contact a brain injury lawyer who can help you seek justice and financial compensation. A lawyer can connect you to top brain injury doctors and specialists in your area to optimize your odds of a full recovery. A lawyer can also take care of confusing legal processes during your injury claim for you. Although treating a head injury is always the best practice, a lawyer may still be able to help you pursue financial compensation for an injury left untreated. Contact the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo today and request a free consultation to learn more.