Traumatic brain injuries can affect victims’ lives in devastating ways, sometimes forever.  According to CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States.  From 2006 to 2014 the number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalization, and deaths increased by 53 %.

Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52% and 20%, respectively). Among TBI related deaths, the leading cause of TBI-related death varied by age and motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for persons 15-24, 25-34, and older adults aged ≥75 years.  Similarly, motor vehicle crashes were the primary cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and adults aged 15 to 44 years of age.  Those who survive TBI can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives.

WHAT IS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)?

TBI is caused by a bump, blow or a jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.  Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI.  The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury).  Most TBI’s that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SYMPTOMS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

Effects of TBI can include impairments related to thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g. vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g. personality changes, depression).  These issues not only affect individuals but also have lasting effects on their facilities and loved ones.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF TBI AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

  • Weakness or numbness in limbs, hands and feet
  • Dizziness, balance and coordination issues
  • Difficulty sleeping or waking up
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Headaches

Muscle movement originates in the brain.  A TBI, therefore, can affect a person’s movement.  Dizziness is one of the symptoms one may experience after a TBI.  The greatest concern about dizziness is the increased tendency to fall when dizzy or lightheaded.  Altered sleep patterns are also common after a TBI. This problem is usually worse in the first several weeks to months after injury.  Many people with a TBI sleep during the day and are awake at night. Another complaint that is common among people with TBI is fatigue.  The body needs a large amount of metabolic energy for healing after traumatic injuries.  According to CDC, fatigue may reduce the speed and quality of rehabilitation.  It can also slow down the return to normal life activities, such as school or work.

It is therefore important to speak to a medical professional without delay, if you believe you have the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

SENSORY CHANGES AND SYMPTOMS OF TBI AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in ears
  • Inability to taste
  • Inability to smell

The brain is the center for all five of our senses: sight (vision), smell, hearing, touch and taste. When the brain is injured, any one of these senses may be affected. For instance, a person may lose their sense of smell, or have partial hearing loss. The location of the brain injury and how severe the injury is will determine which, if any, of these five senses may be impaired. Some people may experience vision changes, such as blurry vision, double vision, sensitivity to light or double vision.  Hearing changes, including muffled hearing or ringing in the ears is possible (this is known as tinnitus).  Changes in taste and smell or metallic flavor in the mouth may also be felt.

After experiencing traumatic injury, discussing the sensory changes and the severity of symptoms with your healthcare provider is important to help you assess the likely causes and treatment options.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY TREATMENT AFTER AN ACCIDENT

Treatment for traumatic brain injury is based on severity of the injury. The severity of your symptoms need be determined by a qualified medical doctor.  For that reason, going to the emergency room or an urgent care immediately after a car accident or injury is vital – that is to get proper diagnosis and treatment for your symptoms by a medical doctor.

A person with mild traumatic brain injury usually needs to be monitored closely for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms. A medical doctor will indicate when a return to work, school or recreational activities is appropriate.

POST CONCUSSION SYNDROME

According to U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, post-concussion syndrome is a condition that is typically associated with a head trauma.  The head injury may be categorized as a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury. The post-concussion syndrome (PCS) a common sequel of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a symptom complex comprising of headache, sleep disturbance, neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive impartments.  Although it has been described most often in the setting of mild TBI, it occurs after moderate and severe TBI and whiplash injuries from automobile accidents.  Brain trauma leads to diffuse axonal injury (DAI) secondary to abrupt acceleration/deceleration and/or rotational/vibrational forces, which cause axonal shearing.  It has been postulated that DAI plays a key role in persistent neurological and cognitive impairments observed after TBI, owing to disruption in connectivity of different regions in the brain.

It is therefore important to speak to a medical professional without delay, if you believe you have the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

TBI DIAGNOSIS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

In the cases of more severe TBIs, consequences can worsen rapidly without treatment.  Doctors or first responders need to assess your symptoms quickly.  Therefore, after an auto accident or injury, if you have not been taken to the hospital or you’ve refused transport to an emergency room thinking that your symptoms may go away, it is highly recommended to visit an emergency room or an urgent care to obtain proper diagnosis of your symptoms.

Glasgow Coma Scale

This 15-point test helps a doctor or other emergency medical personnel assess the initial severity of a brain injury by checking a person’s ability to follow directions and move their eyes and limbs. The coherence of speech also provides important clues.  Abilities are scored from three to 15 in the Glasgow Coma Scale. Higher scores mean less severe injuries.

COMPENSATION FOR HEAD INJURY CASES AFTER AN ACCIDENT

There are two basic types of compensable losses “damages” in head injury cases:  Special damages and general damages.

Special damages (or “economic damages) are quantifiable, losses arising from the injury include but are not limited to:

  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Cost of medical treatment (past and future)
  • Funeral and burial expenses (in a wrongful death cases)
  • Cost of repairing or replacing damaged property

General damages (or “non-economic losses) are more subjective losses that aren’t very easily captured by a dollar figure and depend on the severity of your injuries and evidence present, including the aggravating factors in the case:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Shock and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium, society and companionship
  • Emotional distress

WHY CHOOSE ARATTA LAW FIRM?

At our firm, every injured client will be in direct contact with an attorney.  Many large corporate law firms end up transferring you to a case manager – you never speak to an attorney directly and your case becomes part of the mill.

At our firm, we do things different.  We pay close attention to every individual case, from the inception and throughout the process of the claim / lawsuit. Our diligence and attention to detail result in consistent higher settlements, which adds up to a higher compensation for you, the client.

ATTORNEY’S ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE

Even though you may have a solid personal injury claim, the skill and the attentiveness of your attorney can also considerably impact how much compensation you will receive for your injuries.  If your injury claim is negotiated by a case manager, assigned to your file at a firm, and not an attorney, your claim may end up settling for a lesser amount.  This is because adjusters know who they’re dealing with and how aggressive the firm is when settling injury cases.  Insurance adjuster also know who they can bully into accepting lower settlements.

An attorney’s ability to negotiate a settlement is, in many ways, the most important skill an attorney possesses. Lawyers who are effective negotiators know the importance of timing, preparation and strategy.  That being said, our firm recognizes the importance of precision, timing and subsequent results, which is the foundation of Aratta Law.  At our firm, nothing happens by luck but by great preparation and good strategy.