A common and serious injury that occurs in accidents involving an impact to the head is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Of the 1.7 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States:
- 52,000 die;
- 275,000 are hospitalized; and
- 365 million are treated and released from an emergency department.
Unfortunately, following a serious accident it is possible that the TBI may be overlooked only to have the signs surface days, weeks or even months later. Although fragile bones can mend, a TBI can leave a victim’s life irrevocably changed, permanently damaging their relationships, work, mental capacity and quality of life. As the Brain Injury Association of America describes, TBI involves damage to neurons or nerve cells. The neurons form tracts that transmit messages to different parts of the brain, which in turn transmit messages to different parts of the body and allow us to function. When neurons are damaged, it prevents the body from carrying out specific functions.
Signs of a New Port Richey Brain Injury
Brain injuries are sorted into two categories; mild and severe. A traumatic brain injury is considered mild if a loss of consciousness lasts for less than 30 minutes. Although the majority of TBIs are considered mild, up to 15% of victims will experience symptoms for a year or more.
Every brain injury is unique, but there are some signs of a TBI that apply to the majority of cases:
Signs of a mild TBI include:
- Problems with coordination
- Excessive sleep or depression
- Changes in mood, violent outbursts
- Difficulty formulating thoughts or sentences, memory loss
- Sensory issues (loss of smell, bad taste in mouth, sensitivity to lights or sound etc)
It should be noted that many of the victims of mild TBI will eventually regain a full quality of life.
Signs of a Moderate to Severe TBI: Within days signs of a serious TBI may begin to appear including:
- Clear fluid that drains from ears
- Dilated pupils (one or both eyes)
- Habitual bouts of nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty speaking or walking, confusion
- Irritability, combative behavior
- Clear fluid that drains from either the nose or ears
It is important to note that the signs of TBI may not be immediately apparent. Depending on the severity of the brain injury symptoms can develop over several days or even weeks after the event. To be on the conservative side it is best to speak to your doctor if you notice any behavioral or physical changes following a significant blow to the head. A thorough neurological examination or a brain imaging scan should reveal any damage to the brain’s surface.
How to Proceed with a Personal Injury Claim for a TBI in Pasco County
Although it is not physically seen, the effects of a brain injury can be far reaching and often times cause permanent disabilities. If you were injured in a car accident and believe that you may have sustained a brain injury, it is important to maintain medical records and document the effects of the injury on your daily life in a journal.
You may also want to talk to a New Port Richey brain injury attorney to discuss the potential negligence that resulted in your injury, whether a settlement can be reached, or if a personal injury lawsuit may be the right option. As with all areas of personal injury, you may be able to collect monetary compensation for costs of therapy and medical visits, loss of income, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Contact a New Port Richey Brain Injury Lawyer
For years, traumatic brain injury was called the “silent epidemic” because so many brain injuries went undiagnosed and untreated. Complaints of memory loss, personality change, and diminished mental abilities by victims of trauma were dismissed as “litigation neurosis” or simply ignored altogether. Persons with acquired brain injury were often left with disabling injuries that went uncompensated because many doctors and attorneys did not recognize that a brain injury had occurred. Fortunately, the situation has changed dramatically in recent years. At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled New Port Richey brain injury attorneys understand the serious nature of these injuries and will fight to protect your rights. Please call our office at 727-853-6275 today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652