Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
It is a fact that the majority of traumatic brain injuries are misdiagnosed in the emergency room as primary attention is often paid to more obvious injuries. Yet even mild TBI can leave a patient with long-lasting problems.
When brain injuries in accidents are missed by the personal injury victim or even emergency personnel, there can be grave consequences. Symptoms of such serious injuries can often be subtle and you must watch for them and seek treatment as soon as possible.
After your accident, it is critical that you are properly evaluated for an injury to the brain as they can have serious long-term effects.
Contact our Houston brain injury lawyers if you have any questions about what to do and who can help you after an injury.
What is TBI?
In Houston emergency rooms, personnel routinely evaluate an accident patient based on the Glasgow Coma Scale or “GCS” which is a test to assess the degree of consciousness after a head injury. GCS is a fast way to determine if there is severe brain damage but it does not positively rule out brain injury. This is one reason that a brain injury may be missed by medical professionals.
Additionally a CAT or CT (Computerized Tomography) scan can be read as “normal” when in fact there has been a mild traumatic brain injury.
If you suffered a head injury from an accident in Houston, Texas, your tests and treatment may have been negative while you are still suffering from symptoms of headaches, dizziness, confusion and disorientation. If this is the case, you need to contact our brain injury lawyers for a free conversation about your options.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), including concussions, can cause difficulties for victims that can last a lifetime. Direct blows to the head, or rigorous shaking of the head typically cause concussions. Concussions resulting from car accidents are sometimes caused by the whiplash of the neck upon impact.
What actually causes a concussion? It is caused by the brain receiving trauma from an impact or sudden violent change in movement. Symptoms of a concussion include feeling dazed and, depending on severity of the injury, may or not include loss of consciousness. As mentioned, a Mild TBI will often result in a normal CT scan.
The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine defines mild traumatic brain injury as an injury to the brain along with at least one of the following:
- Any period of loss of consciousness not exceeding 30 minutes
- Any loss of memory for events before or after the injury
- Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident such as feeling dazed, disoriented or confused
- Focal neurological deficits
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury does appear on a CT Scan and generally involves a loss of consciousness for a period of less than 24 hours. The patient remains in the hospital usually for several weeks and may not regain the function they had before the accident.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury occurs when the patient is in a coma. There are usually severe structural injuries such as skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and swelling. There may also be spinal cord injuries.
Certainly, traumatic brain injuries can be some of the most long-lasting and devastating injuries a person can sustain in an accident. They result in greatly reduced earning capacity and physical impairment. Generally, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) falls into one of two classifications of injuries — open head injuries and closed head injuries.
- Open head injuries occur when a foreign object penetrates the skull. This can happen with a gunshot, knife or even when an accident victim hits the windshield in a car accident.
- A closed head injury is one in which there is no penetration of the skull. However, closed head injuries can be severe and often result in death. They can be caused by any type of trauma to the head and are often seen in motor vehicle accidents. A concussion is a form of closed head traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
The most common and recognizable symptom of a traumatic brain injury is loss of consciousness. Other symptoms can include:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Unable to remember the accident, what occurred just before the accident and after
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Headache or dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vision loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Trouble speaking
Cerebral personal injuries are always difficult to endure because of the long adjustment periods involved. Medical expenses can easily pile up with prescription medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and doctor visits.
Seek compensation now through a traumatic brain injury lawsuit to help you pay these bills along with damages for pain, disability, physical and emotional suffering and lost income.
If you have any suspicion that your loved one suffered a brain injury, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
If you have questions regarding recovering damages for a TBI, please contact the Houston attorneys at Michael P. Fleming & Associates at 713-221-6800 at any time.