Many people know about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the context of war; soldiers frequently suffer them in IED attacks and they can have lasting consequences. However, many people don’t realize that anyone can suffer a TBI and that more mundane injuries, like a concussion incurred while playing sports or whiplash from a car accident, can be tied to much more serious problems. Moreover, when a TBI is incurred during a car accident or on a business’s property, the damages you could receive may be substantial.
TBI: Causes And Symptoms
The broader category of TBI includes a variety of injury subtypes, including concussions, contusions, hematomas, and diffuse axonal injuries, among others, and these all may vary from mild to severe. Given these variables, symptoms may also vary widely from headache and blurred vision to seizures, amnesia, and emotional volatility. As researchers study more soldiers with TBIs, as well as athletes like football players, we’ve increasingly found that TBI symptoms can actually last for years after the injury or even worsen, especially in those who have suffered multiple injuries, and the emotional and cognitive symptoms are often the worst manifestations.
Recovery: The Long Journey
Regardless of the cause of a TBI, one of the most important things patients can do after such an injury is to rest, both physically and mentally. That may mean spending a lot of time laying quietly in a dark room, especially if the injury is more severe. Additionally, those with moderate to severe brain injuries may spend a significant time hospitalized or even comatose due to the impact on the brain and swelling within the skull. As recovery progresses, TBI patients may also need physical and occupation therapy, as well as speech therapy in some cases, depending on the injury’s impact on their activities of daily living (ADLs).
Resources: Life After Injury
If you or a family member have suffered a TBI, it’s important to recognize that, although they may need a lot of support in recovery, there are also many different resources available to you. This is particularly the case if you’re able to file a personal injury claim following the accident – but it has to be done properly since there are a lot of costs you may incur as part of the care and recovery process. This may include modifications to your home environment, hiring a caretaker, or paying for added rehabilitation beyond what your insurance will cover. Because of this complexity, a skilled lawyer will consult with the appropriate medical experts to put a value on your case.
Many people can no longer work after suffering a TBI, may only be able to do lower earning work, or may work for fewer hours. This will also be a major factor when organizing a personal injury case, as your lawyer will need to account for lost wages, in addition to medical costs and non-economic damages. While the ultimate judgement may be unpredictable in that you may not get everything you ask for, it’s critical that you make a clear argument for the impact of such an injury.
It can be tempting to reduce TBIs to little more than just a bump on the head, especially for those who have suffered more “mild” injuries, but they should not be underestimated by individuals, their friends and families, medical providers, or the courts. Rather, they need to be treated with attention and ongoing support – and you need to demand the resources to provide those things in whatever ways you can.
I’m a single mother of 2 living in Utah writing about startups, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and health. I also write for Inc, Score, Manta, and Newsblaze