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What Is “Brain Fog” & Can It Be Caused in a Car Crash?

Posted on March 22, 2023 in Car Accidents

You may be feeling a vast number of things after an accident, such as fear, confusion and pain. You may also experience delayed symptoms hours or even days after your car crash, as adrenaline can initially mask the signs of an injury. One thing you might notice is “brain fog” following a crash – feeling confused, hazy, disoriented or out of touch with reality. Do not ignore brain fog, as it could be indicative of a serious injury.

car accidents can cause brain fog

What Is Brain Fog?

Brain fog can refer to a general feeling of confusion or reduced mental acuity after a car accident. It may be difficult for you to understand what happened, for example, or you may experience gaps in your memory. You may also struggle with things that were easy for you before the car accident, such as concentration or multitasking. Your cognitive abilities or thinking may be slower, making it difficult to keep up with day-to-day tasks.

Examples of issues connected to brain fog are:

  • Decreased cognitive functioning
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Problems with communication
  • Comprehension issues
  • Fatigue
  • Personality changes
  • Mood swings

Suffering from brain fog can make your daily life a struggle. You may not be able to concentrate at work and may feel distracted or confused during household chores or simple exercises. Caring for your children and keeping up conversations with loved ones can also be difficult when you are not feeling like your normal self.

Brain Fog Could Be a Sign of a Brain Injury

It is important not to ignore or dismiss brain fog after a car accident. From a medical standpoint, brain fog could point to a potentially serious injury. Confusion and disorientation are two common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries, for example. If you hit or bumped your head in the crash, you may have a concussion or another type of brain injury that is causing you to feel spacy or disoriented.

You could have a coup-contrecoup brain injury, as well, which damages two parts of your brain in the same incident – one at the point of impact and the other on the opposite side of the brain, from the rebound against the inside of the skull. Other types of brain injuries that can lead to brain fog or disorientation include edema (swelling), bleeding in the brain, contusions and hematomas (bruising).

Even if brain fog is the only symptom you are experiencing, you may have a head or brain injury. Tell your doctor everything you are feeling and experiencing after a car accident to screen for hidden or delayed injuries. If your brain fog is accompanied by a persistent headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light or sound, it is especially important to get a CT scan to rule out a traumatic brain injury.

Brain Fog and Whiplash

Another common car accident injury that could cause brain fog is whiplash. Whiplash refers to damage to the soft tissues of the neck, including the muscles and tendons. It is typically caused by the rapid backward and forward motion of the head or neck in a crash, such as in a rear-end collision. Whiplash can cause neck pain and stiffness, but it may also cause symptoms similar to a brain injury. This includes brain fog, which can be caused by an imbalance and confusion of information that is sent to the brain.

Recovering Compensation for Brain Fog After a Car Accident

If you go to a doctor and discover that brain fog is a symptom of a serious injury, such as a brain injury, spinal cord injury or neck injury, you may qualify for financial compensation from the other driver. You can file a claim with that driver’s car insurance company, but you may have to prove fault to qualify for benefits. In addition, you may need assistance from a Los Angeles car accident attorney to negotiate fair financial compensation for your injury.