Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most prevalent, and most costly, health care problems in the United States today. Injuries sustained to the brain can often go undiagnosed and untreated because many people believe that problems only arise when the injury is catastrophic.
However, that is not true; even a mild bump on the head can cause injury and long-term damage under the right conditions, and the only way to know for certain if the injury to the brain has occurred is to undergo assessment.
Many motorcycle accident or car accident victims do not realize until it is too late, that they have sustained a life-altering injury that may take years of treatment because brain injury symptoms do not always show up right away. They may not present for days, or even weeks after an incident and therefore may not be associated with the original traumatic event.
The long-term impact of a traumatic brain injury can be devastating, both emotionally and cognitively. Changes in personality and the inability to complete normal, everyday tasks may change a person’s entire world. Full recovery may not be possible, but ongoing treatment and support are vital if the accident victim is to have any kind of quality of life after an accident.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Even very similar brain injuries can present with very different symptoms. There are a lot of factors that affect how a brain trauma will affect each individual, including prior head injuries, mental illnesses, or conditions like depression or a medical problem, like epilepsy and a host of others.
Additionally, brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe, and in Arizona, are classified by the type of damage caused to the skull.
The three major categories of brain injuries are:
Closed head injuries – when there is an injury to the brain caused by the soft tissue striking the boney interior of the skull, with no skull fracture present
Depressed skull fractures – depressed fractures are caused when the skull is caved in or crushed, and the bone protrudes into the delicate brain tissue
Compound skull fractures – compound fractures result in the loss of skin and the splintering of the bones in the skull, which may or may not cause damage to the brain
Accident victims who sustain a moderate to severe brain injury or concussion from an accident will almost certainly be significantly affected by the injury. They may lose the ability to complete many of the normal activities of daily living, like bathing or dressing themselves, taking care of the home, or working.
Even a mild head trauma can result in impairments in memory, thinking, or emotion regulation that can make it difficult if not impossible to keep up with their normal life.
What are Some Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms?
Although every head injury is different, there are some symptoms that may be common to all levels of TBI, including mild, moderate, and severe trauma.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent headaches
- Symptoms of Whiplash / Sore Neck
- Dizziness and/or vertigo
- Difficulty remembering and/or paying attention
- Mood Swings
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Respiratory problems
- Tremors and/or muscle weakness
- Difficulty regulating body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Low energy and lack of motivation
What Can You Do After a Head Injury?
Traumatic brain injury is not always preventable. Car accidents are the number one cause of head trauma and can result in a life-long disability. Other common causes of significant head traumas are falls, gunshot wounds, and contact sports like boxing, football, hockey, baseball or soccer.
There are some precautions that can be taken in order to lessen the impact of a potential head injury:
- Always wear a seatbelt while traveling in a motor vehicle, and use a child safety seat properly
- Wear a helmet when participating in contact sports, riding a bicycle, snowboarding, skiing, or riding in open vehicles like three-wheelers
- Use handrails on stairways and take your time going up and downstairs, keep walkways free of obstacles that may trip
- Do not stand on chairs, countertops, or other objects to reach heights, and use ladders correctly
Getting Professional Help if You Suffer from a Brain Injury
No matter what severity of brain injury a person sustains, the effects can be profound and life-altering.
If you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury, an important first step is to seek medical treatment immediately, as these types of injuries can be serious and even fatal. After you have seen a doctor, then it’s time you contact an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer at Hutzler law to help discuss your rights and put together a winning game plan to ensure you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries.
Give our personal injury legal team a call today at (602) 730-4530.