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Early Signs of a Head Injury

Each year, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have some type of brain injury, according to WebMD. Medical costs and lost productivity are estimated at between $48 billion and $60 billion per year. A common cause of traumatic brain injuries are car accidents. Other common causes include commercial truck accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and sports injuries.

The severity of a head injury depends on the type of injury, as well as obtaining prompt medical treatment for any serious conditions. Because many head injuries appear to be mild at first, but can, in fact, be serious and life-threatening injuries, it is important to recognize the early signs of a head injury. If you have been in an auto accident or other accident, it is highly advisable to see a doctor as a soon as possible, even if you are showing no signs or symptoms of a head injury.

This CNN article explains that a person does not necessarily need to have external injuries to have injury to the brain. In order to evaluate a person's response after a minor trauma, Dr. Philip Stieg, chair of neurosurgery at NYP/Weill Cornell, recommends checking the size of their pupils and asking questions such as the patient's name and what year it is. Stieg also recommends monitoring the person's cognitive skills in the hours following the accident or injury, and getting a CAT scan immediately if there is any change in behavior.

The following are some early signs of a head injury:

  • Memory difficulties, including the inability to recollect events in the immediate past or the inability to recollect basic information, such as a phone number or address.

  • Changes in perception, including increased sensitivity to light or sound, olfactory hallucinations, blurry vision, or double vision.

  • Changes in mood, such as irritability, sadness, nervousness, or anxiety.

  • Cognitive symptoms, such as the inability to concentrate, focus, or think clearly.

  • Sleep disturbances, including difficulty sleeping, difficulty staying asleep, or sleeping more than usual.

  • Physical symptoms, such as glossy eyes, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, trouble walking, or tingling and weakness in your arms or legs.

The Chicago head injury attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish have extensive experience handling head injuries. Whether you are concerned with an injury sustained because of an auto accident, commercial truck accident, medical malpractice, a slip and fall accident, or a sport injury, we can help you pursue a legal claim for your brain injuries. Contact our Chicago brain injury attorneys at (800) 784-0150 to schedule a free consultation.


Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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