Brain Injuries Can Change Your Life after an Accident or Illness
The effects of a traumatic brain injury after an accident or illness can be long lasting and often permanent. While rehabilitation is possible, survivors of moderate or severe TBIs do face new obstacles and need to make adjustments to their way of life. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be devastating; they can be emotionally and physically devastating, but they can also be financially devastating.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a traumatic brain injury is a form of acquired brain injury. That means it’s not genetic, but a result of damage from the outside world. A TBI can develop when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, like a whiplash, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the CDC, slip and falls are the most common cause of TBIs. Over 1.3 million TBIs are attributed to falls annually. Consequently, the elderly who are more prone to falls are uniquely at risk.
Car accidents and other non motor-vehicle related blows to the head are responsible for many TBIs as well. The latter includes physical fights and violent attacks.
Athletes, especially those who play contact sports, are known to develop TBIs. While helmets are an important preventative measure, they don’t guarantee full protection.
The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBI patients may experience professional setbacks. Keeping up at the same pace at work and communicating with colleagues can be difficult.
The ongoing challenges can also affect the patient’s personal life. Starting and finishing daily routines could become more time consuming and frustrating. Family relationships will almost certainly change. In some cases, the TBI victim will be totally dependent on caregivers.
The brain begins working immediately to repair its own tissue and internal damage. Upon initial injury, many TBI patients lose consciousness. It’s one way the brain responds to give itself time to repair.
Some of these repair processes are extremely helpful, especially when followed by medical treatments. With short-lived TBIs, physical symptoms like blurred vision and memory issues subside and the brain’s normal function is almost fully restored within a three to six month period.
Some parts of the brain cannot be repaired and may progressively decline once they’re damaged. In these cases, doctors need to monitor changes on an ongoing basis. Long term treatments may be able to slow down deterioration.
Moderate and severe TBIs can lead to multiple physical problems. One fifth of those with more severe injuries have reported serious difficulties with their health. Some of the symptoms of TBIs are loss of memory, disorientation, loss of balance, fatigue, visual difficulties, and unrelenting, severe headaches.
Those who sustain TBIs can develop a wide range of emotional problems. They may have difficulty controlling their emotions and may get emotional very quickly and with an abnormal degree of intensity. They may also be on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling happy one moment then suddenly sad or angry.
Mood swings often result from damage to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotional behavior. Sometimes there is no specific event that triggers a sudden emotional response. Medication may be needed to stabilize those suffering from unpredictable feelings.
How Do I Know if I Have a Brain Injury?
The CDC reports that approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury in the United States alone. It can happen to anyone. Knowing the signs and symptoms will help you recognize a TBI.
Double vision, nausea, headaches, unconsciousness, and leaking fluids from the nose or ears may surface with a head injury. After you’ve been injured, it is important to note that signs of TBI may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can develop over several days or even weeks after the event.
To be on the safe side, it is best to see a doctor as soon as you can even if you’re feeling well. Follow up if you notice any behavioral or physical changes after a blow to the head, even if that change seems insignificant.
A doctor will evaluate you using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). During this evaluation, one’s eye function, motor response, and verbal skills help doctors to detect the presence and severity of a TBI.
Your doctor will also check you for physical signs of trauma including bruising and swelling. Imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans are also used in evaluating patients’ brains.
Filing a Claim After Your Traumatic Brain Injury
If you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury due to another party’s actions, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income.
Keeping detailed records about your injury will help you to establish your case. These records can include photos of the accident or location where you were injured, witness statements, police reports, and your medical records.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, our personal injury attorneys will fight for compensation on your behalf so that you can focus on recovery. Our free initial consultations will help to decide what course of action suits you best. Contact us online or call us at 772-225-4900.