The Long-Term Effects of an Untreated Head Injury
Brain injuries can be very serious. One of the most important organs in the human body, the brain is responsible for controlling critical functions like movement, mood, and memory. When you suffer any type of trauma to the head, the brain can be damaged, resulting in both short-term symptoms and long-term complications.
The long-term effects of an untreated head injury can be severe, ranging from ongoing headaches to seizures and degenerative diseases. If you suffer a blow to the head, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can—and to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your legal options.
Ongoing Headaches and Migraines
A brain injury often results in persistent, frequent headaches and migraines. These chronic headaches can become worse over time, impacting your quality of life for weeks, months, or even permanently. Even with treatment, it is very common for brain injury victims to suffer from headaches.
Seizures and Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
It is common for untreated head injuries to result in ongoing seizures or even post-traumatic epilepsy. For some patients, these symptoms may begin immediately following the brain trauma. For others, seizures may not develop until months or years following the incident.
These episodes can be terrifying and come on suddenly without warning. Seizures and epileptic disorders are especially common among patients who show anomalies on their brain scans. In some cases, these seizures are permanent.
Mental Health Disorders
Many head injury victims suffer from emotional and cognitive problems in addition to physical complications. Failure to seek medical care can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and many other mental health disorders. Patients may also experience changes in personality, mood swings, and feelings of aggression.
Many people with head or brain trauma can experience sleep problems. If you have suffered this injury, you may experience ongoing insomnia or an inability to fall asleep. You may wake up frequently during the night and experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Lack of sleep can cause significant emotional and mental health problems, resulting in further hardship.
Higher Risk of Death
Without proper medical care, an untreated head injury can result in a higher risk of death. This is especially true if you experience moderate to severe brain trauma. Fatal complications such as sepsis and embolisms may arise. Additionally, the mental and cognitive effects of trauma can increase the risk of suicide.
Degenerative Brain Diseases
According to some scientific studies, people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to suffer degenerative brain diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s. If you seek emergency medical care after a head injury, you can reduce the risk of long-term diseases and help brain cells heal. Without treatment, however, the brain cells will continue to degenerate, impairing brain function.
Speak to an Attorney About an Untreated Head Injury
Often, head injuries are the result of accidents caused by someone else, like motor vehicle collisions and hazardous property conditions. If you suffered brain trauma at the hands of another person, you may be eligible for legal action.
Depending on the facts of your case, you could pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. A California personal injury attorney can guide you through the litigation process and recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.