Car and motorcycle crashes are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) here in the United States. According to the CDC, these accidents are the leading reason for TBI-related hospitalizations among those 15 to 44 years old.

The extent of the damage caused by a TBI can vary widely, depending on the nature of the crash and the impacted individual. What symptoms might you want to look for after a wreck? Brainline provides some examples, which can generally be broken up into four categories. Here is a brief overview of each.

Physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of a TBI are what many people think of first. In the hours and days after suffering a TBI, you may experience things such as:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Worsened coordination

These can be signs that something more serious might be developing.

Cognitive symptoms

Many people recovering from a TBI experience bouts of confusion. Their memory may be spotty, particularly around events that occurred shortly before and after the crash. A TBI usually affects recent memory – things you just learned – rather than long-term, remote memory.

Emotional symptoms

Stark behavioral and emotional changes are possible as a result of a TBI. It can vary widely, from muted emotions to an inability to control certain feelings. Someone may display:

  • Poor judgment or risky behavior
  • Verbal or physical outbursts
  • General negativity
  • Depression or anxiety
  • No motivation
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Mood swings

These emotional changes can be among the most difficult for victims and loved ones to manage in the aftermath of a wreck.

Sleep disturbance

Many people overlook the impact a TBI can have on one’s ability to rest. Sleep disturbance, according to Brainline, is among the most common symptoms of TBI, with about six in every 10 TBI victims noting long-term issues with sleep. Poor sleep, in turn, can have an effect on the rest of your life, resulting in fatigue, irritability and other disruptive issues.