Brain injuries can be difficult to recognize and diagnose, which can have a significant impact on the victim. TBIS, in particular, are often called the ‘invisible injury’ because they are frequently overlooked in emergency departments. There are also many victims who do not experience symptoms immediately, so they don’t get treatment right away. Without adequate diagnosis and treatment, TBIs can cause permanent damage.
In this guide, the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Kherkher Garcia, LLP share insight into some of the most common questions we receive about TBIs and personal injury.
What is Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A TBI is a brain injury caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or by a penetrating injury to the brain. A TBI can also be caused by a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
TBIs can range from mild to severe. Mild injuries, also known as a concussion, are the most common type of TBI. A more severe TBI can cause a loss of consciousness, seizures, difficulty breathing, vomiting, unequal pupils, and severe headache. The most severe injuries can lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and death.
Who is Most At Risk for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Anyone can experience a TBI, as they are common in many types of accidents, sports, and the result of crimes like assault. Generally speaking, there are some groups who are at a greater risk of a more serious brain injury, however, including:
- Children under the age of 4
- Older adults
- People who participate in contact sports
- People who work in high-risk occupations, such as construction or law enforcement
- People who have been in a car accident or other traumatic event
TBIs can occur in all manner of accidents, including car accidents, slip and falls, contact with objects, machinery accidents, and assault.
What are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury and which part of the brain is affected. Some common general symptoms include:
- Headaches: Persistent or severe headaches that may get worse over time.
- Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded, off balance, or unsteady.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Feeling sick to the stomach and possibly throwing up.
- Confusion: Feeling disoriented or having difficulty thinking clearly.
- Memory Problems: Difficulty remembering recent events or retaining new information.
- Changes in Mood or Behavior: Changes may include rritability, depression, anxiety, or mood swings.
- Sensory Problems: May include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or changes in taste or smell.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired or lacking energy even when you get adequate rest or sleep.
- Seizures: Convulsions or muscle spasms due to electrical misfires in the brain.
- Loss of Consciousness: Unconsciousness may last from a few seconds to several minutes.
If you or someone you know has experienced a head injury and is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even a seemingly minor head injury can be much more serious under the surface.
How Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Affect the Brain and Body?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause a wide range of physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. The severity of the injury will depend on the force of the impact, the location of the injury, and the person’s overall health. Generally, however, a TBI can have the follow effects:
Physical Effects of TBI
The physical effects of TBI can include:
- Bleeding inside the skull
- Swelling of the brain
- Damage to brain tissue
- Loss of consciousness
Cognitive effects of TBI
The cognitive effects of TBI can include:
- Difficulty thinking
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty learning new things
- Difficulty communicating
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Difficulty making decisions
- Difficulty planning and organizing
- Difficulty with social skills
- Difficulty with self-care
Emotional effects of TBI
The emotional effects of TBI can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty coping with stress
What are the Best Treatments for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The treatment for a TBI depends on the severity of the injury and the specific symptoms experienced by the individual. Some common treatments for TBI include:
One of the most important treatments for TBI is rest. The brain needs time to heal, and avoiding activities that may cause further injury or strain can aid in the healing process. Part of rest as a treatment is taking time off work if necessary, avoiding stressful situations, and allowing one’s brain and body to heal.
Depending on the symptoms, doctors may prescribe medications to manage pain, reduce swelling, prevent seizures, or improve mood. Most often, prescriptions include:
- Anti-Seizure Drugs
- Coma-Inducing Drugs
Rehabilitation is often a critical part of the recovery process for a TBI. Mild injuries may not require extensive therapies, but more severe injuries may require multiple types of rehabilitation. In the most severe cases, victims may even need to learn to walk, talk, or perform basic activities again.
Rehabilitation after a TBI may include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Vocational therapy
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the brain or relieve pressure on the brain caused by swelling or bleeding. Surgery is a useful tool for the following:
- Removing blood clots (hematomas)
- Repairing skull fractures
- Stopping bleeding in the brain
- Opening a window in the skull to relieve pressure
Counseling or therapy can be beneficial for individuals with TBI who are experiencing emotional or behavioral issues, such as depression, anxiety, or irritability.
It is important to note that recovery from a TBI can take time and may require ongoing care and support. Each person’s recovery process is unique, and the specific treatments needed may vary. A team of healthcare professionals, including doctors, therapists, and social workers, can work together to develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual.
Should I Call a Lawyer after a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If your TBI is the result of someone else’s negligence, you should definitely call a lawyer. You may be able to file a personal injury claim for a TBI and recover compensation. This could include situations such as a car accident caused by a reckless driver, a slip and fall caused by a property owner’s failure to maintain safe conditions, or an assault resulting in a head injury.
If you want to explore filing a personal injury claim, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. To file a personal injury claim, you will need to show that the other party had a duty of care to you, that they breached that duty by acting negligently or intentionally, and that their actions directly caused your TBI. You will also need to provide evidence of the damages you have suffered, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
In personal injury lawsuits, the victim has the burden of proving their claims. That’s why it is so important to work with an experienced lawyer. At Kherkher Garcia, our lawyers have more than 30 years experience winning personal injury claims for our clients. In fact, we have won several multi-million dollar verdicts for clients with TBIs and other serious traumatic injuries.
The lawyers at Kherkher Garcia can help guide you through the process and protect your legal rights. Personal injury cases can be complex, and our lawyers can help you:
- Gather evidence
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Complete and file necessary court documents
- Represent you in court if necessary
- Ensure that you get maximum compensation
When you work with us, you never have to worry about how your case is going, or whether or not you are getting the best options for your case. Our years of experience, knowledge, and resources are dedicated to protecting you and your family, and getting justice and compensation.
Get Your Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has a TBI and needs help exploring their legal rights and options, call Kherkher Garcia today. We offer every potential client a free consultation. You truly have nothing to lose by contacting us to see how we can help you. Get started by calling us at 713-333-1030. You can also reach out to us anytime via our website.