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Hitting your head can cause problems now and in the future

With all of the other injuries that you may suffer as a pedestrian, a head injury may top the list of those that can alter your life forever. Broken bones, cuts and scrapes, and other physical wounds may take their toll on you for a while, but you may not be able to shake all of the effects of a traumatic brain injury.

Most people instinctively try to catch themselves when they fall, but when you experience a violent impact, such as a car hitting you, you may not have the time to try to protect your head.

What happens after the accident

If emergency medical personnel want to take you to a hospital, it may be a good idea to go, especially if you lost consciousness for any length of time. You may not realize the extent of your head injury in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Doctors will examine you, perform tests to determine how bad your TBI is and recommend a course of treatment. Even if they release you, you may want to watch for the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to touch, light or sound
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of bodily control
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Problems concentrating, paying attention or remembering things
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings
  • Problems chewing or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Problems in social situations

If you suffer any of the above symptoms, or have seizures, you may need medical attention right away.

What happens during recovery

Whether doctors hospitalize you depends on the severity of your TBI. Even if you go home, you may need a friend or family member to watch over you for a while. Treatment may include any number of things depending on the issues your TBI leaves you with afterward. In the beginning, doctors will often focus on your ability to perform daily tasks and then on clearing up confusion about where you are, what day it is and other basic information.

As the days and weeks go on, you may need some sort of rehabilitation for physical or mental effects or both. It could be some time before you and your doctors understand whether the effects of your injuries are temporary or permanent. If you do have lasting effects, they could prevent you from working and enjoying activities you participated in prior to the accident for at least a while, if not permanently.

What happens legally

While you focus on your recovery, you will more than likely begin receiving medical bills, and you may run out of sick time and vacation time at work, if you had any. You may wonder whether you have any legal recourse against the driver involved in your accident. You may find the answers to your questions, along with help with taking the next steps, from the local legal resources here in Providence.

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