What To Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries

Nevada Brain Injury Attorney Benson & Bingham

Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) can occur when the brain is impacted internally because of whiplash or when something outside the body hits the head with significant force. TBI can also occur from bullet or shrapnel penetrating the brain. TBI is common in the aftermath of serious car accidents and often result in a loss of consciousness at the scene of the accident. Even if you are sent home after medical examination after an accident, you may begin to show symptoms of head trauma later. Head trauma often has delayed, subtle symptoms which can manifest and last months to years after the accident. Some of the severe symptoms of Traumatic Brian Injury include the following:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Balance Issues
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Excess Sleepiness
  • Slurred Speech
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Scalp Numbness
  • Tingling in the hands

If you have recently been in an accident and are experiencing these symptoms it is important to seek immediate medical care. TBI can also have more subtle, long-term symptoms which are commonly overlooked. The following are commonly overlooked, and often long-term symptoms to look out for:

  • Personality Changes— Depending on the type of head injury, and location of the impact, your personality may be impacted. For example, force to the frontal region can result in issues inhibiting certain behaviors that were under control prior to the injury. Some may also become less affectionate and more emotional than before. Long-term changes vary and depend on the person.
  • Lethargy and Fatigue—It is normal to experience lethargy immediately after suffering a TBI. However, lethargy and exhaustion can continue even past the healing stages. This can impact sleep patterns and result in sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea.
  • Vision Changes — Vision issues after a TBI can range from acute to severe. Some common changes include trouble reading up close or limited long range vision. More severe issues include blurred vision and field of vision problems.
  • Numbness and Tingling on Various Parts of the Body — You may feel scalp numbness or pins and needles throughout certain areas of your body, even past the healing stage. This can be the result of damage to certain areas of the brain.
  • Faintness and Issues Balancing— After a TBI some may have a predisposition to fainting and may become dizzy and unbalanced easily. This is also a symptom that can last past the recovery stage.
  • Memory Issues— Forgetfulness, inability to recall names/places, worsened short term recall are all long-term impacts of a TBI.
  • Altered Taste and Smell— Olfactory organs can be damage with even moderate head trauma. A person may note changes in taste and smell over time and in some cases this can be treatable while in other cases nothing can be done.
  • Persistent Dizziness and Pain in the Head— These are symptoms that people are quick to dismiss as being less serious, however if these symptoms are long-term they may signify more severe changes in the brain as well as damage in the nerves and brainstem.

Medical Treatment for a TBI

If you were involved in an accident where your head was exposed to some kind of blunt force trauma, it is important to get medical treatment immediately. As mentioned before, delayed symptoms are common and it is important to monitor symptoms and keep your doctor updated on how you feel. Treatments can range from surgery to pain medication to rehab, or a combination of these. Treatment can depend on the location of the hit, as well as the symptoms being exhibited.  You doctor may order imaging tests, including CT scans or MRIs and sometimes emergency surgery will be ordered to remove blood clotting, bleeding in the brain and even the opening of the skull to drain fluids.

Recovery Period

The recovery period for a TBI can depend and is often based upon the severity of the injury. The brain heals itself to a certain extent after an injury, so rest and healthy behaviors are important.  A concussion can take 2-3 weeks to fully go away. Other TBIs can take months or years of rehabilitation or recovery. About 30% of people need some assistance from another person in their daily lives. Victims often still have trouble thinking, and about 25% experience depression. Roughly 50% can drive again, although maybe not as often or in the same way as they did before. Only 30% have a job, though not necessarily the same one they had before the TBI. [2] While these statistics refer to patients two years into treatment, meaning further recovery is needed, it goes to show the lengths of recovery.

Compensation

An accident, such as a sever motorcycle crash, can result in head trauma so acute  it will significantly alter your life. You may not be able to keep the same job or perform the same day-to-day activities. In addition medical treatment and therapy can cost a lot of money.  A personal injury lawyer can help you and your loved ones through this difficult time and help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on treatment and getting back to a more normal life.

[1] https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/traumatic-brain-injury

[2] https://msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Understanding-TBI/The-Recovery-Process-For-Traumatic-Brain-Injury

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