A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, refers to injuries that impact how the brain works. TBIs are a significant public health concern and a major cause of death and disability in the country. People commonly get TBIs from falls, firearm-related injuries, or motor vehicle accidents. While anyone can experience a TBI, some are at greater risk of dying or suffering from long-term health problems after their injury. And victims often experience traumatic brain injury symptoms years later.

traumatic brain injury symptoms years later

TBIs have a high socioeconomic cost to victims and their families. TBI treatment can require long-term and costly in-patient hospitalizations, medications, and ongoing rehabilitation. Although some people might recover from a brain injury, some might suffer permanent damage. These individuals often face long-term, persistent, and potentially unpredictable costs. Anyone who has suffered a brain injury in an accident should consult a California personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help TBI patients and their families recover damages from the at-fault individual or entity. 

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries 

Physicians typically categorize TBIs into four primary categories using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) based on the severity of the injury. The greater number of points a person scores, the higher their level of function, which typically indicates a less severe brain injury. The four classifications include the following:

  • Mild,
  • Moderate,
  • Severe, and 
  • Persistent Vegetative State.

Recovery time generally coincides with the severity of the injury. However, even in cases of severe TBIs, recovery is sometimes possible. 

In addition to the four classifications, healthcare providers group these brain injuries into two additional categories: closed and open. Open is where something penetrates the brain. A closed TBI happens when something impacts the brain without penetrating it. There are several different types of TBIs within these categories. Some common types of TBIs include the following:

  • Concussions,
  • Contusions,
  • Brain hemorrhages,
  • Intracranial hematomas,
  • Coup-Contrecoup,
  • Diffuse axonal injury, and
  • Penetrating brain injury.

The prognosis and outlook of a brain injury depend on the timeliness and consistency of treatment and the type of injury. 

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury 

While some signs and symptoms of TBI are readily apparent, others are more difficult to detect. TBI symptoms also tend to vary depending on the severity of the injury and the location of the damage. 

Mild TBI Symptoms

The symptoms of a mild TBI or concussion look different for each individual, and symptoms may change during recovery. However, mild TBI generally affects how the patient feels, thinks, acts, or sleeps. 

  • Physical: Individuals may be bothered by light or noise, experience balance problems, feel tired, have headaches, feel nauseated, and experience vision problems. 
  • Cognitive: Individuals with TBI may have challenges with thinking and remembering and might feel slow and groggy. 
  • Social: TBIs may cause a person to feel anxious, nervous, easily irritable, emotional, and sad. 
  • Sleep: Those with mild TBIs may have disrupted sleep, have trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleep more than usual. 

Many people with mild TBI might not recognize or admit that they are experiencing these problems. Thus, family members should watch for these symptoms and promptly address concerns. 

Moderate to Severe TBI Symptoms

A person with a moderate or severe brain injury might experience some of the same symptoms as those with a mild TBI. However, moderate and severe TBI patients might also experience the following: 

  • Persistent headaches,
  • Loss of vision,
  • Continued nausea,
  • Repeated vomiting,
  • Slurred speech,
  • Seizures,
  • Numbness in limbs,
  • Increased confusion, and
  • Loss of consciousness. 

Sometimes, these symptoms might come and go and may not present until after the initial injury. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a TBI?

Prompt medical attention is critical in assessing and treating potential TBIs and reducing the likelihood of long-term or permanent brain damage. The prognosis for a mild TBI tends to be better than those of a moderate or severe TBI. 

Most individuals recover most or all of their brain function within three months following an injury that causes a mild TBI. Further, those with a moderate TBI can typically recover most or all of their brain function. However, individuals with moderate TBI may require surgery, physical or occupational therapy, speech therapy, language therapy, and psychological and social services. TBI recovery time for those with a severe TBI depends on various factors, such as the severity of the injury, length of time in a coma, and the location of the brain trauma. 

TBI Recovery Stories 

To facilitate research, support individuals living with TBIs, and provide resources to families of those with a TBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published some TBI recovery stories.

Truck Accident TBI Survivor 

Just a few weeks after her marriage, a 30-year-old woman completing her medical residency was struck by a semi-truck multiple times. The woman did not have visible signs of injury. However, the emergency department found that she had sustained a closed TBI. Although the woman reports ongoing headaches, fatigue, and forgetfulness, she has made great strides in progress.

Skull Penetration TBI Survivor

While on combat deployment, a Lieutenant colonel experienced severe brain damage after shrapnel penetrated his skull. He reported feelings of isolation, depression, and anger when he returned home to his family. However, he found healing in counseling Marines who were convalescing back to his old unit. 

Both TBI survivors noted the importance of ongoing treatment, support, and rehabilitation services after their injuries. 

You May Be Eligible for Compensation for TBI After an Accident

If you are in an accident and start to suffer traumatic brain injury symptoms years later, you may still be eligible for compensation for what you’ve been through. If you’d like to learn more about your options, reach out to the dedicated injury lawyers at GJEL Accident Attorneys. At GJEL Accident Attorneys, we’ve recovered more than $950 million on behalf of our clients. Not only that, but we have a 99% success rate among the cases we’ve handled. To schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney at our California personal injury law firm, give us a call at 1-866-290-1656. You can also reach one of our personal injury attorneys by filling out our secure online contact form. Calling is free, and because we take all TBI personal injury cases on a contingency basis, it means we won’t collect any fee for our representation unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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