Common Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Every brain injury is different. Signs of a traumatic brain injury may include one or several common symptoms. When a person suffers from a brain injury, a personalized evaluation is necessary, taking into account the events surrounding the victim’s injury.

Our Colorado traumatic brain injury attorneys know how devastating an injury like this can be to victims and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury after an accident, here are some signs and symptoms to look for and document. You may qualify to claim compensation.

Physical, Mental and Behavioral Effects of Brain Injury

Some of the common signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:


  • Unconsciousness – can last from a few second to a few minutes; if brain injuries are severe, the victim may suffer from a persistent vegetative state
  • Headache – a headache may last for a short period of time, or it may persist for several months or more
  • Nausea – vomiting may occur either once or on a repeated basis
  • Strabismus – when the eyes travel in different directions and do not focus on the same object
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Inability to smell, changes in smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Seizures – may occur immediately or after some time; maybe recurring


  • Feeling dazed, confused and disoriented
  • Fatigue – and inability to complete daily tasks
  • Drowsiness, feeling unusually tired
  • Speech problems
  • Difficulty remembering facts or events
  • Trouble paying attention


  • Problems with mood – may include sudden mood swings or being easily agitated
  • Loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy
  • Depression, sadness or anxiety
  • Loss of self-control – risk-taking behavior that is unusual or abnormal
  • A difficult time making decisions
  • Struggling to complete tasks
  • Having trouble holding a conversation or responding to non-verbal cues

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

Even when a traumatic brain injury is mild, it can still produce significant symptoms. In fact, learning to see signs of a mild TBI is critical to make sure that the injury is identified. Careful treatment is vital, no matter how mild the symptoms, to ensure that a victim does not suffer from any secondary injuries.

Head trauma that occurs after an individual has already sustained an initial brain injury may be even more serious. Being able to identify signs, including confusion, blurry vision, headache and disorientation, is critical. The victim must be careful to refrain from activities that may cause additional damage and seek appropriate care.

Complications from a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

A brain injury may produce complications as well as direct symptoms. Complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Coma or persistent vegetative state
  • Fluid build-up, especially around the brain
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Post-concussion syndrome

These complications may appear immediately, or they may occur after a period of time. Complications can increase or diminish as time progresses and throughout treatment. Even with treatment, complications may continue.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms Long Term

A traumatic brain injury may cause symptoms long-term. Whether or not the brain injury is properly treated, victims still may experience traumatic brain injury symptoms years later. For example, five years after a brain injury from a car accident, a victim may suffer from crippling anxiety. They may wonder why they are unable to maintain employment or stable relationships. The victim may not realize that they are suffering from symptoms tied to their brain injury from five years ago. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can significantly impact a victim’s well-being and daily activities long-term.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms and Legal Claims

Traumatic brain injury symptoms are complicated because injuries are often hidden and subtle. Injuries may not be known immediately. If they are known, the long-term implications may vary. All of this uncertainty can complicate legal claims associated with brain injury symptoms.

Colorado law allows a personal injury victim to claim the full amount of compensation, whatever it may be (subject to non-economic damage caps). That means if the victim suffers long-term damages, they are entitled to the compensation that coincides with these injuries. Medical care may be included for as long as the victim needs it. If the victim is unable to work because of subtle but serious long-term damages, they may include lost wages in their claim.

The long-term damages need to be identified at the outset of a legal claim. The victim has one opportunity to get the best result for their case. They must be sure to identify the possibility of long-term damages. Valuing them to a certain degree to prove a legal claim can be a challenge. The victim must be prepared with medical experts and documentation in order to verify the extent of injuries and the amount claimed.

Legal Cases Involving Traumatic Brain Injury

One case that illustrates the damages that may be available to a victim for brain injury symptoms is Walker v. Ford Motor Company 2020 COA 164 No. 19CA12431. The Colorado case involved a victim who was rear-ended while driving a Ford Explorer. The victim suffered from brain injury and soft tissue damage. He blamed the damages on a faulty seat in the vehicle. In the case, the court addressed disputes over jury instructions and post-judgment interest. The court upheld the verdict of $2.9 million.

Fair Accident Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injury

As a victim pursuing a legal claim, the most important take-away is to seek medical care as soon as possible when there are signs of a brain injury. Not only is the care essential for health, but it also verifies the link between the accident and the victim’s injuries. Furthermore, working with specialized and experienced medical experts is crucial to efficiently and thoroughly presenting the information to the court.

Attorney for Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

If you suffer from signs of a traumatic brain injury after an accident, the party responsible for causing the accident may owe you financial compensation. However, to receive this compensation, you must have the evidence to identify the injury, show the long-term implications of the injury and value the associated damages.

Our attorneys for traumatic brain injury cases have extensive training and experience in helping brain injury victims fight for their rights. We offer full-service representation designed to get results for deserving victims. Start your case today by contacting our office for your complimentary consultation.


1Walker v. Ford Motor Company 2020 COA 164 No. 19CA1243

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