According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). However, sometimes, when a person sustains a TBI in a motor vehicle accident, they don’t realize they’ve been injured immediately.

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This is one of many reasons it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a TBI after a crash. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include:

Loss of Consciousness

Loss of consciousness is among the most significant and dramatic symptoms of a TBI after a motor vehicle collision. If you suddenly lose consciousness for a period of time after a motor vehicle accident, regardless of how brief, you need to see a doctor.

Losing consciousness can also manifest as falling asleep. Another potential symptom of a TBI after a crash is a strong feeling of tiredness. For some, this is an acute feeling of intense tiredness that they may experience shortly after a crash. Others might simply notice they feel slightly more tired and need more sleep in the days and weeks following a collision.


Headache is another common symptom of a TBI that you may experience in the aftermath of a car crash or other such incident. While over-the-counter medication may help treat your symptoms in the short run, you still must see a medical professional to confirm there’s no need for additional treatment.


It’s best to limit movement to whatever degree possible after a car crash. You need time to recover from this experience.

When you do move around, you might notice feelings of dizziness. Such feelings could indicate you’ve sustained a TBI. See a doctor for more information.

Loss of consciousness is among the most significant and dramatic symptoms of a TBI after a motor vehicle collision.


The symptoms of a TBI don’t have to involve the head. For example, if you’re experiencing nausea after a motor vehicle accident, particularly if said nausea is accompanied by vomiting, you may have sustained a TBI without realizing it.

Sensory Issues

It’s not uncommon for individuals who’ve sustained TBIs to struggle with sensory issues after being injured. Examples of these types of symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision that one had not experienced in the past
  • Hearing issues and/or ringing in one’s ears
  • Sensitivity to loud sounds
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Loss of the sense of smell, or a diminishment of a sense of smell
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth

These symptoms are sometimes quite obvious. In other instances, they can manifest in relatively subtle ways. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling after a motor vehicle crash and take any symptoms you experience seriously, even if you feel they’re mild.

The Importance of Seeing a Doctor Right Away After a Car Crash

Be aware that it’s possible to sustain a TBI without noticing any symptoms in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision. Whenever you’ve been involved in a car crash, no matter how seemingly minor, seek medical attention that day.

Doing so ensures you receive the care you might need. If you do have any unnoticed injuries, seeing a doctor shortly after a crash will create a clear link between the crash and your injuries. With such a link established, an insurance company may be unable to argue that there’s little evidence your injuries resulted from your motor vehicle accident. This can make it more difficult for an insurer to suggest that you’re not eligible for compensation or you’re not eligible for the full amount of compensation you’re seeking.

In addition, in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle crash, don’t tell anyone at the scene that you don’t believe you’ve sustained injuries. Even a passing comment like “I’m fine” can be used to justify paying you less compensation than you may be eligible to receive.

It’s also worth noting that the symptoms listed here are merely just some of the short-term symptoms of a TBI that you might experience after a motor vehicle collision. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also experience long-term cognitive and/or emotional difficulties following a crash. You may be eligible for compensation accordingly if these hardships negatively impact your quality of life, prevent you from working and earning an income, etc.

Strongly consider meeting with an attorney after being injured in an accident. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston car accident lawyer can review your case and provide the representation you need to optimize your chances of receiving fair compensation. To learn more about what we may do for you, contact us online or call us at (617) 742-1900 for a free case review.

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If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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