New York City Neurological Injury Attorneys
Far too often, auto collision and workplace accident victims suffer serious neurological or brain injuries. These types of medical conditions can also be caused by bad falls, sports injuries, physical assaults, explosions and military accidents. Immediate diagnosis and treatment remain crucial to achieving the best patient outcomes.
While surgeries can help reverse some brain injuries – the cognitive disorders (those that disrupt clear thinking and reasoning) — can often require long-term rehabilitative care. If the initial head trauma is extreme, death can result. Fortunately, many neurology patients can greatly benefit from carefully develop treatment plans.
Here’s a brief overview of some major neurological conditions our clients often suffer after serious construction accidents and auto collisions. Additional material covers the symptoms of common neurological ailments – and how specific cognitive disorders can impair people’s daily lives. Special problems associated with memory loss and amnesia are also addressed.
Common neurological injuries suffered after major head or brain trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries. Depending on the force or impact suffered to the head, these injuries can be mild, moderate or severe. In some cases, an object (like a bullet or a piece of the broken skull) may even penetrate the brain. In many instances, the victim’s head is severely shaken – causing internal bruising and bleeding to occur;
- Accident survivors often suffer serious spinal nerve damage that can cause pain, numbness and mobility problems. If radiculopathy develops, the patient may also suffer from one or more compressed spinal nerves;
- Many major auto accidents and fall injuries cause either temporary or permanent paralysis due to loss of muscle function. Patients with paralysis must often cope with serious mobility problems;
- Cognitive impairments and deficits. Besides physical pain, these are among the most difficult injuries. They can make it very hard for accident survivors to think clearly and accurately perceive reality. When patients lose their problem-solving skills, they often become much more dependent on family, close friends, and hired caregivers;
- Memory loss. To a large extent, we all experience who we are based on our memories. Quality-of-life issues loom large when profound memory loss occurs. Selfless caregiving is often required so that the dignity of the person with memory loss can be preserved.
Frequent symptoms of neurological and cognitive losses
- An inability to sleep well – or for extended periods of time;
- Loss of memory;
- Increased agitation;
- General lethargy and resistance to moving about or exercising;
- Speech difficulties – problems with forming and uttering complete sentences;
- The development of new motor skill limitations;
- Mental delusions – possible hallucinations, too.
Someone who is experiencing these types of difficulties may find it hard to continue with the following types of activities.
- Any job requiring manual dexterity;
- Work that involves analytic thinking and writing;
- Workplace or household chores that may put the person at risk for further physical harm because subtle dangers can no longer be accurately perceived;
- Developing new relationships – and maintaining established ones – due to much greater difficulty in communicating with others;
- Living alone and cooking daily meals. Some people with neurological impairments can no longer cook their own food because they forget to turn off their burners and stoves.
While many types of treatments can help with some of these difficulties, they are often quite costly. If depression and anxiety are present – some prescription drugs may prove helpful.
Cognitive difficulties often present with various types of amnesia
Serious head trauma causes some injury victims to suffer from amnesia. Before discussing the three main types of amnesia, it can help to list the common symptoms that different forms of it can cause.
- Loss of full alertness
- Increased confusion
- A tendency to repeat the same statements – or questions – over and over
- An inability to remember the names of close family members and friends
- Difficulty in completing tasks just started
- Trouble conversing since it has become difficult to recall many common words
- Getting lost frequently, even when going on short walks
While these symptoms can apply to other mental health or physical problems — if they first appear after a serious head injury — they may indicate the person has one of the following types of amnesia.
- Retrograde amnesia. Patients with this affliction cannot recall certain past events and information that was once very familiar to them. While memories from long ago may remain intact, there is often great difficulty with short-term memory – making it very hard for patients with retrograde amnesia to learn new information and retain it.
Fortunately, most people suffering from amnesia due retain their personality, sense of identity, basic awareness and overall intelligence. While these patients may be able to learn some new skills like playing the piano, they probably can’t tell you what they ate for breakfast or name any current political leaders or other general facts known by most adults who don’t have cognitive problems;
- Anterograde or antegrade amnesia. People struggling with this type of amnesia usually have trouble remembering all that has happened since a traumatic event like a major car accident occurred. Their problems recalling information learned since the major trauma are much like those of people who get terribly drunk and can’t remember what they did afterwards.
Most forms of amnesia usually involve the hippocampus in the brain. Once this part of the brain has been damaged, possibly due to exposure to a toxic substance or a lack of oxygen, the injury and subsequent cognitive problems are often permanent;
- Transient global amnesia. When people suffer from this form of amnesia, they have a total loss of short-term memory. This often contributes to their deep sense of agitation and confusion. These patients never lose consciousness and don’t have any easily recognized symptoms of neurological impairment. Once the amnesia lifts, these patients often cannot recall that they even experienced memory loss. Although it remains uncertain, some doctors believe that transient global amnesia is caused by a type of blockage in the affected person’s blood vessels.
Before any type of amnesia is diagnosed, doctors carefully rule out dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other possible ailments.
Additional signs or symptoms of amnesia — not already referenced above
Depending on the exact type of amnesia a patient has, the person may create false memories (confabulation) in their confused state. The Mayo Clinic indicates these memories may be truly false or made up of some actual memories that the person thought occurred at a different time. A state of serious disorientation can also be a sign of amnesia.
If you’ve suffered any serious neurological injury due an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City brain injury attorneys. We will fully investigate the facts of your case before fighting hard to win the maximum compensation available to cover all your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.