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Car Accidents, the Emergency Room, and Traumatic Brain Injury

Personal Injury Attorney, Auto accident lawyer

We’ve all seen the ER drama shows with the ambulance pulling up outside the hospital emergency department where a crew of health professionals rush out in time to save someone’s life after an accident or trauma.  Yes, this stuff does happen in real life but the average scene is much less dramatic.

So, let’s say you are rear ended in an auto accident.  First of all, you may be confused.  You may have hit your head or even lost consciousness.  You exit your vehicle and may be greeted by police or emergency personnel. Maybe, no one is on the scene yet.  Look around, check your surroundings.  Are you hurt?  Was anyone else hurt?  If no one is on scene call the police and state your emergency.

Emergency personnel on scene may want to check you out and even offer to transport you to the emergency room after your auto or truck accident.  You arrive at the hospital and are generally greeted by a nurse.  Here, your injuries are going to be graded in order of severity.  This process is called triage.  The typical categories for your auto or work-related injuries will be first, those that are life threatening and need immediate assistance.  Next, are the urgent injuries that are not immediately life threatening.  Finally, you have the less urgent type of injuries.  Typically, the nurse will ask for your subjective symptoms; or in other words what you tell him or her is wrong with you and where it hurts.  The nurse then may go ahead and get some baseline information such as your vital signs including your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.

Eventually, you will end up in an examination room.  You may be seen by an emergency medicine physician at this point.  He will probably take more of your history and perform a brief examination.  Once the doctor gathers this information, he will formulate a differential diagnosis.  Based on the diagnosis, more tests may be ordered such as x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and blood work.  With the aid of these diagnostic tests your diagnosis may be narrowed.  Then the doctor will come up with a treatment plan.  You may be referred for a follow up visit, sent to physical therapy, or in extreme cases be referred to a specialist or even a surgeon.  But here is the tricky part.

If you have suffered from a concussion or a traumatic brain injury, the doctor may miss the initial diagnosis.  In fact, people that suffer from traumatic brain injuries may not be taken to the hospital at all.  People with traumatic brain injuries can walk away from an auto accident only to find out later that they are temporarily or even permanently disabled.  People can function for hours or even days and be symptom free and not know they have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Symptoms you need to look for include, a loss of consciousness, headaches, slurred speech, lack of coordination and disorientation, memory problems, acting out emotionally, nausea, fatigue, and even sleep problems.

If you or a loved one has been in a car or truck accident, or a work-related injury not covered by Workers Compensation, and you suspect traumatic brain injury, concussion, or another injury that evaded doctors, you need to see your doctor or have your doctor refer you to a neurologist.  Next, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.  At Ron Voyles & Associates, we have the attorneys that will fight for you and protect your claim.  We will get you the care you need and help you get your life back together.  Call us today.


Ron Voyles is an attorney and a chiropractor with over twenty years of experience in the litigation of personal injury and the defense of drug and alcohol crimes.  Ron practices in Montgomery, Harris, Walker, Grimes, Madison, San Jacinto, and Leon Counties.