Traumatic brain injury (also known as TBI) can be caused by everything from a fall to a car accident to a concussive blast. Though significant brain damage typically causes a victim to lose consciousness for at least half an hour, concussions may not cause any sort of blackout. Symptoms may also be very mild at first, meaning neither victims nor their loved ones are aware of the injury.
Just because someone doesn’t seem hurt at the scene of an accident doesn’t mean they will not need medical treatment down the road. In fact, the rush of adrenaline accident victims feel often insulates them from pain and other symptoms. This is why we suggest every accident victim receive a full check-up from their doctor or an urgent care facility.
Even if you don’t experience symptoms for days or even weeks after an accident, it’s not too late for a professional opinion. If you have a traumatic brain injury, you may need more help than an insurer will offer. Knowing your diagnosis is the first step to getting what you deserve.
If You Lose Consciousness, Seek Care Immediately
Any loss of consciousness, no matter how brief, is a symptom of brain injury. Even if the victim wakes up and claims to feel fine, a visit to the doctor is a must. Though concussions are referred to as “mild” TBIs, there’s no such thing as an unimportant brain injury. Especially if other symptoms appear later, having medical proof they are connected to your accident will help you when it comes to pursuing compensation.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Impact Victims’ Daily Lives
Anyone who receives a moderate-to-severe brain injury will likely suffer observable lifelong disabilities. They may need assistive devices or a caretaker to help them navigate the world. This is the image most people conjure when they think of brain damage. However, mild TBIs can also cause lasting changes. They may be less noticeable, especially to those who do not know the victim, but that does not mean they are not worthy of concern.
When neurons are injured, they are likely to lose some of their functionality. These cells cannot repair themselves; every neuron that dies simply decreases the total capabilities of a person’s brain. This can result in noticeable differences in a victim’s mental capabilities. Brain injury victims may suffer:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty communicating
- Decreased ability to reason
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory impairment
Such changes can affect a TBI patient’s ability to hold their job, maintain relationships, and participate in activities they previously enjoyed. These are all damages for which the party who caused an accident can and should be held liable.
The damage done to the brain can never be undone, but it can continue to escalate. Though scientists do not fully understand how, it’s a well-documented fact that a TBI has effects on a victim’s brain health down the road. Physical impacts may include:
Doctors have also found links between brain injuries and conditions like epilepsy as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Sensations and Experiences
Our brain both tells our body what to do and makes sense of the feedback sent to it. When you feel the pain of a pebble in your shoe, it’s because your brain has interpreted signals sent by damaged nerves in your foot and identified their cause. Brain damage can interrupt these processes and cause victims to mis-perceive the world around them. TBI victims may:
- Find it difficult to balance
- Experience blurry vision or other problems with eyesight
- Have trouble speaking and/or swallowing
- Notice changes in their senses
In some cases, these changes only cause slight discomfort, but in others, they may prevent the victim from being able to complete essential activities such as driving and working.
Behaviors and Moods
Internal sensations can change as well after a brain injury. Victims may seem to develop a completely different personality. Or, they may experience:
- Feelings of irritability
- Mood disorders (commonly depression and anxiety)
- Difficulty controlling strong emotions/reactions
Of course, it’s natural for a TBI victim to also feel angry, sad, and frustrated if they have noticed changes in themself. The emotional burden may grow even heavier if they are no longer able to process their feelings like they once could.
Make Sure You Have the Help You Need After a Brain Injury
The cognitive changes mentioned above can affect any TBI victims, even those who believe they are healed after a concussion. The brain is a fragile organ. It can’t heal itself like lacerations or even broken bones can. This is part of what makes these injuries so scary.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for even the most experienced neurologist to predict how a brain injury might affect a patient. Symptoms may decrease with rehabilitation, or they may worsen over time. Because we know how devastating and life-changing these injuries can be, we want to help you maximize your compensation and your financial safety net.
Remember, some of these symptoms may seem to appear out of nowhere a few days or even a few weeks after a traumatic accident. Patients should seek help as soon as they notice them. After you’ve seen a doctor and talked about a treatment plan, reach out to our team at Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. for a free consultation.
We care about helping you receive the compensation you need. Call our team now at (916) 229-6755 or send us a message to get started on your case.