Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are potentially one of the most serious types of car accident injuries. TBI can cause long-term disability and consequences. It’s especially dangerous because it is not always immediately detectable. The possibility of TBI is one of the primary reasons that you should always get medical attention after an accident, even if you don’t think you suffered injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines TBI as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” TBI can happen to people of all ages, but seniors and children are especially at risk.
One of the most important things to remember is that traumatic brain injury can occur even if you do not suffer a blow or bump to your head. A sudden jolt or jerking of the head — as occurs in a car accident when your vehicle comes to a quick stop or is struck — can cause TBI. That’s because the jolt causes your brain to bounce around and bump against your skull, which can cause brain injury.
TBI occurs in varying levels of severity. The CDC considers a concussion as a mild form of TBI. Traumatic brain injury also can be more serious and occur as moderate or severe TBI. The symptoms and consequences of TBI range widely and can be long lasting.
In addition to being caused by a car accident, TBI often results from a slip and fall, which is one reason why older individuals are particularly at risk for TBI. Sports injuries also can cause traumatic brain injury. Other types of accidents can result in TBI as well.
TBI symptoms fall into four different categories. They can be cognitive (affecting thought and memory functions), physical (like headaches and blurry vision), emotional (irritability or nervousness), or affect sleeping patterns. It’s easy to overlook the symptoms early on, or just write them off as a temporary consequence of an accident. The onset can be delayed by hours, days, or even weeks.
Getting immediate medical attention after an accident can detect TBI, even if you or a family member don’t think you suffered injuries. Certainly, if any symptoms like headaches, weakness, slurred speech, nausea, or unusual behavior occur, medical attention is urgently necessary. After an accident, be alert for any symptoms in yourself or a family member (especially children and elders) and get professional medical attention if they appear.
Most individuals who suffer a mild traumatic brain injury recover well and relatively quickly. However, for some people, symptoms can last for days or weeks, or even longer.
Following your doctor’s orders strictly is essential during recovery from a TBI. Most physicians prescribe substantial rest and limits on activity, which can be especially difficult for younger patients. Sometimes doctors recommend medications to help alleviate symptoms like headaches. Stay in touch with your doctor until you get the approval to resume regular activities.
Severe TBI can cause long-term effects on cognitive and motor functions, as well as consequences affecting sensations and behavior. Serious brain injury can affect all aspects of a person’s life, interfering with relationships, performance at work or school, and completing normal daily activities. In these cases, on-going monitoring by a medical professional is essential.
In the case of mild TBI, your own auto or health care insurance probably covers your medical expenses. If your brain injury is serious — and another person’s negligence caused the car accident that resulted in your brain injury — you may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party if your losses exceed the no-fault thresholds under Kansas insurance law. If your TBI resulted from a slip and fall on another person’s business or private premises, you may be able to recover if the negligence of the person or business caused your fall.
In the case of traumatic brain injury from a car accident or slip and fall, you should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney before you take any action on a claim against another person. Attempting to pursue your own claim can result in jeopardizing your claim or losing the ability to recover compensation at all. Your lawyer evaluates the circumstances of your accident to determine the basis for your claim and ensures that your rights and ability to recover compensation are fully protected throughout the process.
At the Salina, Kansas law firm Hampton & Royce, L.C., we assist clients throughout the state with all types of personal injury matters, including car and truck accidents and premises liability slip-and-fall cases. We help you get full compensation for your injuries. You should concentrate on making a full recovery, while you rely on your attorney to pursue your rights and protect your interests.
Contact us by phone or email to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.