TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is defined as a penetrating head injury or a forceful blow to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI results when the skull is pierced by an object and enters the brain tissue or when the head suddenly or violently either hits or is hit by an object.
Damage such as subdural hematomas can occur. This is commonly referred to as bleeding on the brain. It can cause pressure and damage to the tissue. Surgical intervention is sometimes required where the blood is evacuated and the pressure relieved.
What is not so obvious is the damage to the brain tissue that occurs on a microscopic level. Brain neurons are stretched or broken, disrupting function.
Diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury is based on signs, symptoms and neuropsychological testing. Questions arise. Was there physical trauma to the head? Was there any period of unconsciousness or being dazed and confused? Do the radiological images of the brain (MRI) reveal bleeding and/or injury to brain tissue? Does testing indicate deficits in physical, mental or emotional functioning?
Brain injury is permanent. However, there is typically a recovery period of approximately 18 months to 2 years where function does improve. At that point, there is a plateauing. Symptoms of cognitive dysfunction may not immediately reveal themselves and focus may have been on the treatment of physical injuries. Therefore, a diagnosis of TBI is not made until later. TBI can cause chronic headaches, loss of motor skills, mental confusion, memory loss, anger and depression.
Neuropsychological Testing and Treatment
Specialized testing is available that specifically identifies neuropsychological deficits and disabilities. Compared to previous function (prior to the TBI), results indicate losses in gross and fine motor skills, intellectual function, mental processing, memory (verbal and special) and emotional lability (rapid and unpredictable mood swings).
Treating a more severe TBI case often requires cognitive rehabilitation, medications, vocational training and psychiatric or psychological support. Often, family members benefit from their own psychological treatment in order to better deal with the life stresses associated by these conditions.
Future Prognosis: TBI – Ongoing Neurodegenerative Process
Research indicates that an increased cognitive decline over a lifetime might occur due to a previous traumatic brain injury. TBI victims needs to exercise increased caution about risky activities, since a subsequent TBI on top an existing one, can have catastrophic consequences.
Return to home and a productive life is the goal of recovery in a traumatic brain injury case. However, there can be a long-term impact on TBI patient’s ability to fully support themselves and live independently. In severe cases or possibly later in life, a supervised home life or in-patient care might be required.
Pursing a Legal Claim for a Traumatic Brain Injury
When the injury that occurred was a result of someone else’s negligence, then the law prescribes remedies for the victims in recovering their damages for medical care costs (past and future), lost wages (past and future), pain, psychological support, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff and an experienced legal advocate is critical to successfully pursue a claim for full compensation. Our firm treats its client like family. We rigorously investigate the case, filing a lawsuit, developing the evidence, discovery of documents, employing top experts in their fields, taking of sworn depositions, mediation, and if necessary, a trial in a court of law.
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