Personal Injury Attorneys in Miami Helping TBI Victims Recover Compensation
Traumatic brain injuries are a serious health care concern in the United States. While falls are the leading cause of TBIs, traffic accidents are the third-leading cause of brain injuries. TBIs can vary in severity, though, and brain injuries suffered in car accidents tend to be much more severe than those caused by falls because of the dramatically greater forces involved in a car accident. While car accidents caused only 14 percent of all TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and fatalities combined, car accidents caused nearly 20 percent of all TBI-related deaths in 2013. A study in Europe found that 44 percent of TBIs resulted from car accidents. Whatever the source of the statistics, it is clear that car accidents are a major contributing factor for traumatic brain injuries.
Even Mild TBIs Can Have a Major Effect on Your Life
The definition of traumatic brain injuries covers a broad range. TBIs can be classified as either mild or severe. Whether a TBI is minor or severe, such injuries have the potential to have an ongoing and potentially debilitating effect on your life. What is termed a mild TBI involves less brain damage. Usually, the injury is accompanied by either brief or no loss of consciousness at the time the injury is suffered. Such injuries include minor concussions or impacts to the head that have no readily apparent lasting effect.
Doctors generally will term a brain injury “mild” if the injury results in a period of unconsciousness lasting less than half an hour. Any resulting disorientation or confusion likewise would last less than 30 minutes for a brain injury to be considered minor. Even though brain scans, such as MRIs or CAT scans, could appear normal following a minor brain injury, victims could still suffer problems including headaches, memory loss, an inability to pay attention for extended periods, mood swings, becoming easily frustrated, or trouble thinking about complex subjects.
The term “mild” can be misleading, however. Any injury involving the brain can have serious consequences. Dismissing a “mild” brain injury as inconsequential can be dangerous for a number of reasons, including:
- Symptoms of mild TBI usually fade rapidly, but that doesn’t mean that all mild TBIs heal quickly. Studies have found that roughly 15 percent of people who suffer a so-called mild brain injury have ongoing symptoms that can be debilitating, including headaches, memory loss, an inability to pay attention for extended periods, and other symptoms mentioned above.
- Patients who receive a blow to the head, including in traffic accidents, but do not lose consciousness, or suffer only a very brief period of consciousness, frequently are quickly released from the hospital because doctors believe them to be basically alright. However, this belief often proves to be incorrect, and the victim may suffer ongoing symptoms that are not recognized as connected to the previous “mild” injury.
- Worse, some victims of mild brain injuries who remain conscious or lose consciousness only briefly don’t bother to seek medical attention because they don’t believe they have suffered any significant injury. If problems emerge later, the symptoms often are not attributed to the previous injury. The lack of initial treatment could lead to negative effects later.
The Effects of a Severe Brain Injury Can Be Long-Lasting and Debilitating
TBIs are deemed severe if the victim loses consciousness for more than 30 minutes and suffers memory loss after the injury. Injuries that penetrate the skull also are considered severe, for obvious reasons. The impacts of a severe brain injury can run from impaired higher-order brain functions to the victim being in a coma. Severe TBI survivors could suffer limited use of extremities, total loss of use of their arms and legs, impaired speech, memory loss, an impaired ability to concentrate or think about even simple issues, memory loss, or emotional problems. Some people recover from these symptoms; many never do. Rehabilitation therapy, which can last for long periods of time, usually is required, and even that may not help. Whether it helps or not, the rehab is expensive, and the longer it lasts, the more it costs. Injuries resulting in severe TBI can lead to changes in brain function that have significant negative impacts on your ability to perform your job, play a role in your community, or even enjoy meaningful participation in family life and activities.
People who suffer severe TBIs can suffer a broad array of impacts to their physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional health. Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting impacts, often resulting in difficult and expensive long-term care needs, including an inability to return to work. This care is expensive and could be required for a lifetime. For survivors of severe TBIs, symptoms can include:
- Limited function of arms or legs
- Impaired or abnormal speech or language
- Impairment or loss of thinking ability
- Emotional problems
The range and severity of injuries resulting from TBI can vary from person to person, but the effects of TBI can be profound. Severe TBIs can leave victims in long-term comas. Even those not left in an unresponsive state may have injuries that require expensive long-term rehabilitation with no guarantee of a return to full function and independence.
If You Have Suffered A Traumatic Brain Injury in a Traffic Accident, Contact a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
Traumatic brain injuries are a relatively common result of traffic accidents. Even if you suffer a “minor” TBI in a traffic accident, the “T” still stands for “traumatic.” The effects of even a minor TBI can be lasting and serious. If you have suffered a TBI in a traffic accident, you need to talk to a Miami personal injury attorney to discuss what your options are. You may be able to recover damages for your injury, but given the potential severity and long-term effects of TBI, you need to find an injury attorney who can help you recover compensation sufficient to cover your damages. Contact Flagler Personal Injury Group at (305) 424-8445 or through our online contact form. Flagler Personal Injury Group serves the greater Miami area.