Sleeping A Lot After A Car Accident: What You Need To Know
Sleeping a lot after a car accident may just be a person’s body’s way of dealing with the trauma of the crash and building up strength to recover. It may be a natural reaction to a stressful and scary event.
Or it could be the sign that something more serious is wrong, such as a traumatic brain injury. Research has shown that sleep difficulties, including snoozing a lot more than normal, is extremely common among TBI survivors.
Additionally, snoozing more than normal is frequently identified as a symptom of depression.
It is important that an injured person seek medical attention immediately if he or she is sleeping a lot after a car accident. Prompt detection, diagnosis and treatment of any crash-related injuries is essential to a successful recovery, to avoiding a lifetime of pain and disability and to protecting one’s legal rights to benefits and compensation.
What to do for sleeping a lot after a car accident
If you are sleeping a lot after a car accident, follow these steps:
- Get examined immediately: Time may be of the essence. When it comes to properly diagnosing the cause of sleeping a lot after a car accident, the sooner a person gets the proper diagnostic tests and medical treatment for these symptoms, the sooner they can rule out a potentially life-threatening injury. As an injury lawyer, I always advise people that the sooner they can get the necessary and appropriate medical care, the sooner they can get back on the road to good health and a full recovery, but they key to abnormal snoozing is to rule out a much more serious injury as soon as possible.
- Get medical treatment and get a referral for the appropriate diagnostic imaging to detect and diagnose why you are sleeping a lot after a car accident. A doctor can’t treat you until he or she knows what is causing these symptoms, and the appropriate diagnostic testing – often a CT scan – will enable your doctor to prescribe the best course of treatment for you and make the appropriate referrals for you.
- Early documentation always makes it easier to avoid future problems with your own insurance company. Early medical documentation, such as in an emergency room or as soon as possible with your family doctor, will prove to a health insurance company or a No-Fault insurance company that the collision was the cause of why you’re dozing off more. If it does turn out to be a more serious injury, you’ve documented the early symptoms and again will be able to avoid many of the problems that arise when an insurance company is denying a causal relationship and refusing to pay for medical treatment. Early treatment and medical documentation create the temporal relationship that insurance companies will be looking for when they are being asked to pay for necessary medical care.
- Showing a clear temporal relationship between a collision and the documentation of treatment for a condition or injury also makes it easier to get a full and fair legal settlement for your injury when it is caused by another driver’s carelessness or negligence behind the wheel. Delays in seeking treatment hurt your ability to get better faster and make a good recovery, but it also often makes it harder for your attorney to get a reluctant insurance company to pay for your treatment and makes it harder to get a fair legal settlement after your crash.
- Don’t try to “tough it out”: sleeping a lot after a car accident may be a symptom of a far more serious injury that may even become fatal if you don’t seek treatment right away. As a lawyer, I’ve seen so many instances where people felt like they didn’t want to “complain,” but within days or weeks what they thought would be a minor injury or something that would go away becomes far more serious.
- Talk to an attorney who is experienced at helping people injured in motor vehicle crashes. Most experienced lawyers have helped people who are sleeping a lot after a car accident. The initial call is always free so at the very least you will be informed as to what your insurance company is responsible to pay and what medical help and wage loss you are entitled to. An attorney can also help you review your medical records as well as the treatment and care you’re receiving to make sure bills are getting paid and to help you assess what your case might be worth if your pain and disability was caused by another driver’s negligence or carelessness.
- Tell your auto insurance company about the fact that you’re dozing off more than usual. If you live in Michigan, make sure to include this in your application for No-Fault benefits, which is also referred to as your “written notice of injury” – which must be given to your No-Fault auto insurance company “within 1 year after the accident.” (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
- Do not sign any settlements, releases, or waivers related to your crash: Until you have talked with an experienced attorney who is looking out for your interests, do not sign any settlements, releases, or waivers that are presented to you by your auto insurance company, the at-fault driver’s auto insurer or any other insurance companies or persons.
Can I sue for sleeping a lot after a car accident?
Yes. If your auto insurance company refuses to pay for – or cuts-off – No-Fault benefits related to the injuries that result in you sleeping a lot after a car accident, then you can sue for unpaid, overdue medical bills, attendant care, medical mileage, replacement services and lost wages because your injuries have prevented you from returning to work.
You can also sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation as a result of your collision-related injuries, but you will first have to show that the other driver was at-fault for causing the the crash and that your back pain constitutes a “serious impairment of body function” under our auto law.
Additionally, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver for other economic damages, such as excess and future medical bills and lost wages.
Sleeping a lot after a car accident could mean you have suffered a TBI
If you were injured and you have been sleeping a lot after your car accident, then you should seek immediate medical attention because that may be a sign that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Left undiagnosed and untreated, a TBI – including brain hemorrhage – could be life threatening or result in a lifelong disability.
Sleep problems, including snoozing more than normal, is one of the most common symptoms of a TBI. Research has shown that brain injury survivors are three times more likely to suffer sleep disorders and 60% of TBI survivors have long-term sleep difficulties. Additionally, research has found that up to 70% of all “mild” TBI survivors report experiencing poor sleep or excessive sleep after their injury.
Because of the violent forces involved in a collision, a person’s brain may be seriously injured even though there may be no accompanying physical signs of the trauma that has taken place. One of the ways the brain damage manifests itself is by affecting the injured person’s normal sleep patterns and routines.
Signs that you’re having trouble resting
If you’re experiencing any of the following, then you may be suffering from crash-related sleep disturbances:
- Always tired
- Snoozing longer (for more hours) than normal
- Feel lethargic during waking hours
- Struggling to keep your eyes open during the day
- Difficulty with waking up
Types of disorders
In addition to sleeping a lot after a car accident, a victim may experience any of the following sleep-related disorders:
- Narcolepsy: Uncontrollably falling asleep
- Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome: Sleep patterns are disrupted
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (also known as hypersomnia): Being especially drowsy or sleepy during the hours that a person would normally be wide awake
- Insomnia: Not being to consistently fall asleep and stay asleep
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder: Moving your arms and legs involuntarily and unknowingly while you sleep
- Sleep Apnea: While snoozing, a person’s breathing stops momentarily – which causes a person to awaken frequently
- Bruxism: A person grinds or clenches his or her teeth while snoozing
- Restless Leg Syndrome: A person keeps moving his or her legs because they otherwise feel uncomfortable
Sleeping a lot after a car accident may mean you have depression
A collision can have a devastating effect on victims’ lives – and the lives of their families. The person is injured, in pain and desperately seeking the proper medical care to recover. Frequently, victims’ accident-related injuries prevent them from working so there’s uncertainty about whether they’re going to support their families. There is uncertainty about when and if life will return to normal.
Under these circumstances, many victims suffer from depression both as a result of their injuries and in conjunction with their injuries.
One of the common symptoms of depression is when a victim is sleeping a lot after a car accident.
If these circumstances exist, then it is essential that the car victim seek immediate medical attention.
Need help? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you are sleeping a lot after a car accident, which may be a sign that you have suffered a TBI or that you are suffering depression, and you have questions about your legal rights and the significant legal compensation that you may be entitled to, call us toll free at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our experienced back injury attorneys.