Accidents can cause many different kinds of injuries, but one of the most devastating is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can have lifelong side effects and often require extensive medical intervention. Keep reading to learn more about TBIs.
A traumatic brain injury typically results from a violent blow to the head or a jolt to the body. If an object penetrates the skull or if localized trauma causes a piece of the skull to break or the brain to bruise, a traumatic brain injury can occur.
Strictly speaking, a traumatic brain injury can take different forms and have different side effects. However, physical trauma to the head is the most common cause. If a person is in an accident with other motorists or at their workplace, they could have head trauma.
Brain injuries in general may manifest differently for each person and depending on the severity of the injury. Mild brain injuries may cause headaches, nausea, or speech problems. It’s also important to note that each region of the brain may manifest injury in different ways.
For example, the frontal lobe controls speech, ,concentration, and motor control while the occipital lobe controls vision. If the frontal lobe is injured, a person may lose speech or some problem-solving ability. On the other hand, if the part of the brain that controls coordination is harmed, the individual could have trouble walking.
Severe TBI symptoms may include:
- Persistent headaches
- Clear fluid that drains from the nose or ears
- Extreme lethargy
- Loss of coordination
- Convulsions or seizures
- Behavioral changes
- Profound confusion
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Dilation of one or both pupils
Some of these symptoms may not seem severe like headaches or trouble sleeping, but head injuries can worsen without proper medical intervention. If a person sustains a blow to the head or body that causes any of the symptoms listed above, they must contact a healthcare professional immediately.
Any intervention into a brain injury must be done as soon as possible after an accident to prevent further damage. There are little to no solutions to reverse initial brain damage, but patients with a TBI can be stabilized. Physicians and specialists can also prevent further damage and injury by ensuring the patient has sufficient oxygen flow to the brain and adequate blood flow.
Typically, the first step after an injury is a computed tomography scan or CT scan. This test can collect images of the brain to help physicians detect where and to what the degree the brain is damaged. Additionally, scans can detect fractures, bone fragments, and other complications that could impact the patient’s life.
Therapies to address the loss of speech, motor function, and cognition are often helpful treatments in addition to occupational therapy and psychology. Social support is critical during recovery, and it’s important to understand that most patients with sustained TBIs may never fully recover. Long term healthcare may be necessary to ensure quality of life.
The Cost of a TBI
Traumatic brain injuries are costly because of the amount of medical intervention necessary, but also the loss of wages and other financial costs. In many cases, a TBI is the result of an accident which may require legal guidance that comes at a cost.
In general, victims of an accident can pursue economic damages like lost wages or noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. Victims with TBIs as a direct result of an accident may pursue both in addition to recovering medical costs.
The court will determine a reasonable settlement, but retaining legal counsel is essential to ensure the most optimal result.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, our attorneys can help. Contact Nichols Dixon PLLC for more information.