A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a specific type of head injury that disrupts the brain’s normal function. This disruption can be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury. TBIs are a major cause of disability and death in the United States and contribute to more than three million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. If you suspect you have a TBI, seeking medical attention should be your priority. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury is a long process and requires substantial financial support that you may need help pursuing against the liable party. An experienced personal injury attorney will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn more about traumatic brain injuries and traumatic brain injury recovery.
Symptoms of a TBI
Symptoms of a TBI fall into four categories. Victims of a TBI may experience all or only some of the most common symptoms:
- Physical. A range of physical symptoms may manifest in victims of a TBI. Common physical symptoms include headaches, seizures, dizziness, and fatigue. Other changes may cause partial paralysis, appetite changes, and insomnia.
- Cognitive. TBIs directly affect the brain and its ability to send messages to the rest of your body. As a result, mental symptoms are also shared with those suffering from a TBI, including confusion, impulsiveness, language difficulties, and amnesia.
- Behavior. TBIs also affect how a person behaves, including irritability, depression, anxiety, lack of awareness, and aggression. These changes may be sudden and can be permanent or temporary.
- Sensory. TBIs can cause blurred vision, blindness, involuntary eye movements, tinnitus, sensitivity to noise, and hearing loss. A TBI can also affect a person’s sense of smell and taste. Some people also have issues with sensations related to temperature and texture.
Mild TBIs may manifest in headaches, neck pain, fatigue, and dizziness. But underestimating the seriousness of a suspected brain injury hurts you in the long run because it can delay treatment. Doctors use a neurological exam to test the severity of your injury and determine a path for treatment and recovery. When treated in the early stages, a TBI can be stabilized to prevent further, potentially irreversible damage.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries occur in various ways, including through direct and indirect trauma. Sometimes, it may be unclear how the injury happened and who may be responsible. You need an attorney to investigate the cause of your injury so the right person is brought to justice. The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries seen by personal injury attorneys include the following:
- Car, bike, motorcycle, pedestrian, and truck accidents;
- Dangerous products;
- Unsafe playgrounds;
- Exposure to toxic chemicals;
- Auto defects;
- Workplace accidents;
- Falls from heights;
- Medical malpractice;
- Dangerous drugs;
- Blunt force trauma;
- Electrical accidents; and
An individual, company, corporation, manufacturer, or group of individuals may potentially be liable for your TBI. Traumatic brain injury cases are complex and require the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. Don’t miss out on what you deserve so you and your family can obtain the help needed to aid in your recovery.
What Are the Stages of Brain Injury Recovery?
The initial stages of a victim’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury depend on their level of cognitive function. Brain injury rehab is a long process that may take years. In many situations, patients never fully recover but must learn to adapt to this new way of life. The Rancho Los Amigos Scale provides the following ten stages of brain recovery:
- Level I: Coma. No change in behavior is detectable when presented with any stimuli.
- Level II: Vegetative state. There is a generalized reflex response to painful, auditory, and external stimuli. However, the victim still requires total medical assistance.
- Level III: Minimal conscious state. A victim here will withdraw or vocalize a reaction to painful stimuli. They may turn away from auditory stimuli and blink when a bright light crosses their vision. With eyes open, they may also follow a moving object passed before them. When it comes to commands, they respond inconsistently and may respond to specific familiar people.
- Level IV: Post-traumatic amnesia. A person is alert and agitated by their state. They may attempt to pull out restraints or tubes and get out of bed. There may be short-term memory loss and exhibit aggressive behavior.
- Level V: Confused and inappropriate response. A person becomes agitated, may be unable to learn new information, may not recognize familiar people, or may be able to respond to simple commands.
- Level VI: Confused and appropriate responses. A victim in this position is inconsistently oriented to person, time, and place and may have some remote memories. They also can consistently follow simple directions.
- Level VII: Automatic and appropriate responses. A victim in this stage is oriented to person and place and occasionally requires reasonable assistance for orientation. They may overestimate their abilities and may be unaware of other people’s feelings and needs.
- Level VIII: Purposeful and appropriate responses. A person here can carry out tasks, can recall recent and past events, and may require no assistance when new tasks are learned.
- Level IX: A person at this level may carry out tasks consecutively for a longer period, think about the consequences of decisions or actions, and have low frustration tolerance. Many victims at this stage may become easily irritable and may suffer from depression due to their condition.
- Level X: A person in this stage may still suffer from periodic depression, but their social interactions are typically appropriate. Additionally, a person here can handle multiple tasks simultaneously in all environments by may require breaks.
This scale is a clinical tool to determine how people with brain injuries recover. These stages may also indicate when a patient is ready for rehabilitation. The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury may never go away, and most victims require regular therapy for some time after they return home. The costs of this essential care can be astronomical, so TBI victims need to obtain the compensation they deserve.
For over forty years, GJEL Accident Attorneys have helped hundreds of California victims injured in accidents due to another’s negligence. Our attorneys have an undisputed track record of success and have recovered over $950 million in compensation, with a 99% success rate for our clients. We specialize in serious injury cases, including wrongful death cases, car accidents, and traumatic brain injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our attorneys are ready to help and answer any questions you may have.
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