Personal Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
As personal injury attorneys, sadly, we often meet clients who were victims of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Alarmingly, many experienced the trauma without realizing the extent of the associated damage, let alone the proper course of action to take to recover from the life-altering event. In this blog post, we seek to inform our clients and friends so that you will know what to do if TBI happens to you.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI occurs when a blow or jolt to the head injures the brain. TBI may result from an automobile or motorcycle crash, slip-and-fall accident, sports injury, or assault…to name a few causes. TBI ranges in severity from mild concussion to severe, permanent brain damage. Treatment varies based on the degree of injury but typically includes rest and medication, intensive care, and/or life-saving surgery. Brain injury survivors often face persistent symptoms relative to their physical and mental capabilities…to say nothing of the associated emotional and personality-related trauma which may result. Most people who suffer moderate to severe TBI require rehabilitation to recover and relearn skills.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. In fact, each year:
- An estimated 1.5 million Americans sustain a TBI.
- These injuries result in 230,000 hospitalizations wherein the victim survives.
- Of those hospitalized, 50,000 die.
- 80,000 - 90,000 experience the onset of long-term disability.
- Virtually every age group runs the risk of TBI.
- The risk is highest among adolescents, young adults, and persons aged 75 years or older.
- Males are two times as likely to experience TBI as females.
- Motor vehicle crashes are most often the cause of TBI. Experts estimate the percentage somewhere between 50-70.
- Violence, especially suicidal behavior and assaults involving firearms are the leading cause of TBI-related death.
- Slip-and-Fall accidents lead the cause of TBI among the elderly.
- Costs to society for care and lost productivity due to brain trauma are enormous – estimated at $76.5 billion annually.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Abnormal eye movements
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Convulsions or seizures
- Decreased level of consciousness (difficulty waking)
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of or change in consciousness (from a few seconds to a few hours)
- Loss of muscle control
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- New neurologic deficit, such as slurred speech; weakness of the arms, legs, or face or loss of balance
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light
- Sleep disturbances
- Unequal dilation in the pupils (or double vision)
What to Do If You Suspect You're a Victim of TBI
Even mild brain injuries can change your life. Here are the steps to take immediately after suffering what could be brain-injuring trauma:
- Seek medical attention.
- Call an attorney immediately.
Don't try to negotiate this terrain on your own. Never feel pressured to reply to whoever caused the injury or to agree to anything. An experienced personal injury lawyer will assess after-effects of such an incident to determine potential lost income and earning potential, past and future medical treatment, occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services, pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium and punitive damages for gross negligence or intentional conduct.
- Take care of yourself.
Get plenty of rest. Obey doctors' orders. Refrain from playing contact sports or doing physical labor. Avoid sudden exposure to light or noise. Don't stop taking prescribed medication, even if you start to feel better.
About Moet Law in Ontario, California
At Moet Law, our team of experienced attorneys is ready to advise accident victims with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) about the best way to seek compensation for damages and trauma. Call today for your free case evaluation (866) 483-6878.