Traumatic Brain Injury: A Serious Invisible Wound
Many people have heard the term “traumatic brain injury” (TBI). But what is it? How does it affect a person? You may be surprised to learn that TBI is one of the most common injuries in a typical automobile accident, yet many attorneys and their clients fail to get adequate medical evidence to support a claim for TBI. Here is what you need to know if you believe you suffered a TBI at the hands of a negligent party and you wish to recover compensation.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a TBI can briefly be described as follows:
“a form of acquired brain injury [which] occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.”
If you receive a strong blow to the head, you are at risk for TBI. Likewise, concussions are traumatic brain injuries. More than just a simple injury, TBIs have taken the lives of many athletes and accident victims over the years, and only recently have researchers truly begun to investigate how TBIs affect long-term function.
How big is the problem?
Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) illustrates that motor vehicle accidents are responsible for over half – 55 percent – of all TBI-related deaths in children between 5 and 14 years of age. For those between 15 and 24, the number only goes down slightly to 47 percent. Therefore, TBI is a real threat in an automobile collision.
How do I know if I have a TBI?
The most common injury for which people seek compensation after an accident is a general soft tissue injury. This can range from whiplash to muscular strain. These minor injuries are generally treated with pain therapy, medication, physical therapy, and a prescription anti-inflammatory. However, all too often a person may completely miss the warning signs of TBI until it is too late to file a claim. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.
A TBI can result in long-term health impairments and lead to loss of work, loss of memory, and can wreak havoc in your life. Not knowing is often the worst part. Unlike a fracture or laceration, a TBI is invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, without the benefit of skilled medical experts, it can be very difficult to demonstrate just how serious the injury really is. An MRI or CT scan can identify the physical injury that took place inside your brain.
Here are just a few of the warning signs:
- Clear or white liquid leaking from ears or nose;
- Dizziness, loss of focus;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Chronic, unexplainable headaches; and/or
- Loss of sensation or tingling.
For other examples, visit the Brain Injury Institute of America.
What to do if injured in an accident
With the help of highly skilled medical experts, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the severity of your injuries and explain your rights. If you or someone you love is injured in an automobile accident in northern Virginia, contact an experienced Virginia accident lawyer who can quickly evaluate your claim, help you identify your injuries, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Simms Showers, LLP for a free consultation today.