“Traumatic brain injury” can vary in severity from mild to severe. A severe traumatic brain injury may result in extended periods of unconsciousness, loss of cognitive ability, or permanent memory loss. Most traumatic brain injuries, however, are less severe. A mild traumatic brain injury is commonly called a concussion. Traumatic brain injuries can be overlooked when evaluating personal injuries after an accident. Consequently, it is essential that people understand the signs of a traumatic brain injury and risks of failing to diagnose a traumatic brain injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013 there were about 2.8 million traumatic brain injuries reported in the United States, resulting in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and death. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for 47% of all traumatic brain injuries seen by medical professionals. Another 15% of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to traumatic brain injuries caused by striking, or being struck by, an object. Motor vehicle crashes are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Personal Injury: Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can have long-term and short-term impacts including the following:
- The ability to think and reason
- Memory loss
- Sight and balance
- The ability to communicate, use facial expressions, and an understanding of language
- Changes in emotions including depression, aggression, anxiety, behavioral changes, personality changes, and socially inappropriate behavior
A traumatic brain injury can also increase the risk for brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Healing from a Traumatic Brain Injury
The CDC recommends these general tips to aid in the recovery from a traumatic brain injury:
- Work with your health care professional to arrange for services to aid in relearning skills you may have lost
- If you have a hard time remembering things, write them down as a reminder
- Do not drink alcohol without your doctor’s approval
- Take medications as prescribed
- Do not take medications that are not prescribed or approved by your doctor
- Recognize that your reaction times may be slower – do not drive, ride a bike, or operate heavy machinery without approval from your health care provider
- Avoid any activities that could result in another blow to the head
- Get plenty of rest
Concussions and Personal Injury
If you have sustained a concussion, it is particularly important to recognize the signs and symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. The signs of a concussion include:
- Trouble thinking clearly and remembering – This might manifest as feeling slow, having difficulty concentrating, or remembering new information, and difficulty thinking clearly.
- Physical issues – This may include headaches, fuzzy or blurred vision, vomiting or nausea, dizziness, problems with balance, fatigue, and sensitivity to light or sound.
- Emotional changes or changes to mood – This sometimes presents as being more emotional than usual, feeling an overwhelming sadness, irritability, nervousness, or anxiety.
- Changes in Sleep Patterns – This includes sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual, or having difficulty falling asleep.
These issues can present at different times. It is critical to seek immediate medical attention if you think you have a traumatic brain injury.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured, the personal injury attorneys at Miller Kory Rowe LLP can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating traumatic brain injury cases. Our initial consultations are always free. Contact us to discuss your case at (602) 461-8640.
* The content provided in the above article is purely based on the legal advice for accidental personal injuries and we are not a medical professional and not intended to provide any medical advice.