Dealing With A Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one of the most complex injuries that an individual can suffer is a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI. Not only does it exhibit a broad spectrum of disabilities and symptoms, it affects nearly 1.5 million individuals every year in the US. Of those 1.5 million cases, 85,000 result in long-term or permanent disabilities while 50,000 are fatal. Currently, nearly 5.5 million Americans are living with disabilities that resulted from traumatic brain injuries.
What Causes A Traumatic Brain Injury?
The CDC goes on to say that a TBI can be caused in a number of ways with the top three being car accidents, falls, and firearms with fatalities occurring 9 out of 10 times when firearms are involved. Elderly individuals and young adults are at the greatest risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries. However, these three causes can also lead to traumatic spinal cord injuries as well.
Additionally, there are certain mechanisms that are considered the greatest causes of TBI’s including bacterial and viral infections, chemicals and toxins, closed and open head injuries, deceleration injuries, hypoxia, stroke, and tumors. Since there is no known cure for traumatic brain injuries, prevention is the only option. Under Florida personal injury law, if you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury such as brain damage, concussion, etc., due to an accident, you may receive compensation in a court judgment or out-of-court settlement.
What Are The Effects That Result?
Traumatic brain injuries are classified as either mild or severe. Mild TBI’s are characterized by confusion, disorientation, and/or a loss of consciousness that lasts less than half an hour. Although CAT scans or MRI’s may appear to be normal, certain cognitive problems may become apparent very quickly. This includes:
- attention deficits
- difficulties with concentration and thinking
- memory problems
- mood swings
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these issues to be overlooked. Despite being classified as mild, the effects that a TBI has on the individual and their family can be devastating.
Conversely, a TBI that is classified as severe is characterized by a loss of consciousness for over a half hour and a loss of memory that lasts 24 hours or longer. The deficits that can result will range from a higher level of cognitive function impairment to being comatose. When an individual survives a severe TBI, they may have abnormal language or speech impediments, emotional problems, limited arm and/or leg function, or a loss of concentration and/or thinking abilities.
Suffice it to say, the effects that result from traumatic brain injuries can be intense or pervasive and the person can be left in an unresponsive state for long periods of time. In cases this severe, long-term rehabilitation may be required in order to maximize their bodily functions and restore their independence. Even when a person is diagnosed with a mild TBI, the consequences can be life changing. This can have a dramatic impact on a person’s community and social interactions, their job, and most importantly, on their family.
The Need For Qualified Legal Assistance
If you feel that your or a loved one’s brain or skull injury was caused by another person, you may want to consider consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may also want to consult with a brain injury lawyer even if you are applying for certain benefits, filing a worker’s compensation claim, or trying to negotiate with your insurance company. Since TBI cases are extremely complex from a legal and medical standpoint, It pays to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side should your claim go to trial. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.