Those who haven’t suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often assume that the most difficult problems survivors must confront occur right after their accidents as they undergo surgeries and different treatments prior to completing rehabilitation programs. Yet reality shows that many TBI patients wind up struggling with their injuries for the rest of their lives.
In most cases, traumatic brain injuries develop after a person endures some type of blow, jolt or bump to the head that disrupts normal brain functioning. While these events may only last a few seconds, the damage is often extensive. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics indicate that about 30% of all injury deaths in this country involve a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This means that roughly 153 people die of a TBI each day. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to accurately diagnose this condition since no two people experience the exact same set of symptoms. While accident prevention must remain a central focus, at least equal attention must be paid to finding new and better treatments.
Prompt and Accurate Medical Evaluations Are Critical Following TBIs
Always make sure that you or your loved ones immediately visit a doctor after suffering any type of head injury. An early diagnosis can help you avoid far worse complications that might develop if you wait to seek treatment. Also, the longer you wait to be medically evaluated after suffering a closed head or brain injury – the more likely you are to require far more complex treatments.
Basic Components of Your Initial Evaluation
When you first see a doctor, she’ll try to determine the full extent of your injuries by inquiring about the following facts.
Your physical symptoms. Tests will be run to help determine if any paralysis is present. Your sensory capabilities will also be tested and doctors will check to see if you might be experiencing any seizures;
Cognitive difficulties or changes. Your doctors will also try to determine if you’re suffering from any short- or long-term memory problems. And they’ll check to be sure you can still communicate clearly and understand simple conversations. Your ability to focus and concentrate will also be evaluated – along with basic planning skills;
Psychological or behavioral symptoms. Doctors must also check to see if you’ve developed any depression, anxiety, irritability or mood swings. If family members are present during your exams, they may be asked if you are displaying any new or unusual personality changes.
Common TBI Events Leading Up to ER Visits
Most TBI events are due to falls suffered by the very young and much older Americans. In fact, nearly one-half of all emergency department visits, hospitalizations (and deaths) in 2013 were caused by falls. As might be guessed, the other main events leading up to TBIs include car collisions, construction site accidents – and even medical malpractice incidents.
Patients May Suffer MTBIs and Basic TBIs
Some doctors like to distinguish between mild traumatic brain injuries and routine TBIs since they believe that MTBIs often involve shorter periods during which the victims may have lost consciousness. However, it’s medically incorrect to assume that all traumatic brain injury patients suffer any loss of consciousness since many of them do not.
Nevertheless, there are doctors who believe that MTBIs may involve less critical or long-term damages or consequences for patients and that they often suffer attention span problems, headaches, short-term memory loss, depression, and irritability.
By contrast, these same doctors also believe that more severe TBIs involve patients who suffered longer periods of initial unconsciousness – possibly due to more brutal jolts or head trauma. Patients suffering from severe TBIs often struggle with controlling their bodily movements and speaking in a coherent manner. Of course, some symptoms like depression, anger and anxiety are common to nearly all TBI patients.
Brain Infections Can Cause Some TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries can also be caused by various brain infections. These may include one or more of the following conditions – sometimes worsened by doctors who fail to make accurate and timely medical diagnoses.
Mumps, rubella – and even rabies
Once patients develop TBIs brought on by any of the conditions just listed above, they’ll often have to battle one or more of the long-term TBI complications set forth below.
Types of Long-Term Consequences Some TBI Patients May Suffer
Minor or profound problems in communicating effectively with others;
Being unable to handle basic tasks required for self-care – including bathing, getting dressed each day — and preparing food;
No longer having the skills to hold down any type of job. However, in some cases, TBI survivors may go through rehabilitation programs that can successfully teach them new job skills;
They may permanently need help taking care of others in their household;
They may experience profound medical expenses – forcing them to live in less desirable housing and parts of town;
They may see their closest relationships suffer. Some TBI survivors lose the ability to express emotions in an agreeable manner – making it difficult for their spouses to feel like they’re in an intimate partnership. Furthermore, close family members must often become full-time caregivers – frequently neglecting their own lives. TBI survivors may also no longer be able to have sex (the loss of consortium) due to physical changes in their bodies caused by their accidents;
Profound psychological or emotional suffering may develop, along with ongoing problems with physical pain. Depression often occurs making it necessary for survivors to seek out a therapist’s help in accepting their “new normal” — while also setting new types of goals for themselves. They must also learn to accept their daily limitations;
Problems with secondary brain injuries can also develop. Once a person has suffered a severe blow to the head (due to a fall, car accident or another cause), he becomes more likely than others to develop a seizure condition. Also, after you’ve suffered bad falls, you’re more likely to struggle with balance issues, making additional falls an even greater threat.
The brain injury lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates develop each client matter as a medical legal team that includes attorneys, neuropsychologists, neurologists, neuro-radiologists, and other top brain injury specialists. Our brain injury law firm handles TBI cases in the Metro New York City area including Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens, Manhattan (New York County), Bronx, Staten Island (Richmond County), and all of New York State. We prepare each case for trial meticulously which ensures maximum compensation for our clients.
Obtain a free case evaluation from experienced brain injury attorneys. Brain injury lawsuits can be filed against responsible parties including property owners, general contractors, drivers, and owners of automobile vehicles at fault in motor vehicle accidents, and others. Brain injury is the damages component for which it is vital to obtain best in class medical care. Diagnostic testing can now visualize brain cells and pinpoint the location and type of brain injury allowing brain injury victims to get the correct medical attention.
Frekhtman & Associates charges no fee unless we first recover money for our clients. We pay for all expenses while prosecuting a brain injury lawsuit through the courts. Our firm’s trial lawyers have been successful in winning some of the top verdicts and settlements in New York as is reflected on our Verdicts page. Protect your legal rights by contacting an experienced New York State brain injury attorney.
Feel free to call New York Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney at (866) ATTY LAW or fill out the online contact form on this page.