After you’ve been injured in a car accident, your healthcare providers will likely advise you to rest often and get plenty of sleep, but what can you do if it takes you hours to doze off or, even worse, you can’t sleep at all? Instead, you stare at the ceiling until daylight, awake but physically and emotionally exhausted.
While sleeplessness after a collision is not unheard of, it’s still a source of concern because insomnia is a classic system of both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury.
Post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological complication that can take hold after traumatic incidents like a car accident. As you mentally relive the event, your brain becomes overstimulated by adrenaline spikes, leaving you tired but unable to sleep. Left untreated, debilitating symptoms like depression and chronic fatigue can set it, making it impossible for you to enjoy life.
If a medical professional diagnoses you with PTSD after you struggle with ongoing insomnia and disrupted sleep, then a personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation by filing a claim against the party whose negligence caused the accident.
Traumatic brain injury after an accident
Insomnia is also a known symptom of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which frequently occurs after a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2006 and 2010, nearly 250,000 people suffered brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents, and close to half of all TBI patients have sleep problems because the area of the brain that regulates the sleep cycle was damaged.
If you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to insomnia, then see your doctor immediately.
- Abnormal mood changes
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty making decisions or concentrating for too long
- Chronic exhaustion
- Problems with short or long-term recall
- Nausea and vomiting
- Double vision
What makes traumatic brain injury so dangerous is that the symptoms are not always apparent after the accident. You may look and feel normal, albeit achy and tired. Then, after days or even weeks have passed, you start to experience life-threatening complications.
Any sleep disorder experienced in the wake of an accident, such as insomnia or narcolepsy, should be brought to the attention of your doctor immediately to ensure that you receive the necessary treatment and to create the medical documentation needed to pursue a personal injury claim.
In addition to being a sign of a dangerous medical condition, insomnia can affect your quality of life after the accident. If you become too fatigued to work, then your ability to provide for yourself and your family is jeopardized. A New York personal injury attorney will advise you on how to pursue your case and get the compensation to which you are entitled. Jayson Lutzky is a highly experienced accident attorney. He has helped car crash victims get the compensation they deserve. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-office appointment.