A head injury is any sort of injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. This can range from a mild bump or bruise to a traumatic brain injury. Common head injuries include concussions, skull fractures, and scalp wounds.
Head and brain injuries can occur when the head strikes the steering wheel or windshield, or when the brain is thrown forwards and backwards inside the skull from the force of the collision. These injuries can be open or closed head injuries, and can range from mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury. After a head trauma, a person can suffer primary or secondary injuries. Primary injuries result immediately from the trauma, and secondary injuries, being an indirect result of the trauma, will manifest symptoms and complications over a period of time. Physical symptoms of brain injuries may include loss or change in consciousness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, seizures, swelling in the scalp, fatigue, and poor balance. Cognitive symptoms of brain injuries may include confusion, trouble with concentration, memory loss, slower thinking, and trouble solving problems. Behavior impairments may include mood swings, mania, inflexibility, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, lack of empathy, and lack of motivation. It is important that these symptoms be identified early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible, to give you the best chance of recovering from your injuries. Often family members or loved ones will notice something is different about the injured person, and it is important that this collateral information is relayed to the doctors. The injured person may not be aware of the changes.