Each year, approximately 1.4 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders. Transport accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians account for half of all traumatic brain injuries and are the leading cause of TBI in people under 75 years old. The organization also notes that TBI is the leading cause of long-term disability among children and young adults.
The human brain is very susceptible to damage caused by the forces generated by a typical car accident. TBI attorneys often see brain damage when the head hits part of the vehicle during an accident, such as the windshield or dashboard. But the brain can also be injured without a direct blow to the head. The impact of a collision can cause the brain to suddenly move back and forth, commonly called "whipping". Whipping is considered a closed head injury because it occurs inside the skull.
The silent epidemic
Traumatic brain injuries are called the "silent epidemic" because cases of TBI can be very difficult for lawyers to prove. Many victims of head injury accidents appear normal; most speak well and show no obvious signs of brain damage. Even medical classifications for TBI are misleading. Most people are diagnosed with "mild" traumatic brain injury, but this is just a medical classification. This does not mean that the shortcomings and shortcomings are also mild.
The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine defines mild traumatic brain injury by at least one of the following symptoms:
Any period of unconsciousness
Any memory loss for events immediately before or after the crash
o Any change in mental state at the time of the car accident, such as feeling dizzy, disoriented or confused
o Neurological deficits that may or may not be temporary
In serious car accidents, brain injuries rarely occur without the accompaniment of serious physical injuries; Therefore, doctors and emergency services often lose the symptoms of a brain injury. In fact, over 80% of brain injuries are not diagnosed in emergencies as the first signs of TBI.
Doctors rarely see only a set of symptoms, clearly defined disabilities, or a disability that affects only part of a person's life. And when other more urgent medical problems are apparent at the onset of a car accident, mild TBI is often masked and can be ignored by doctors.
Some long-term conditions of traumatic brain injury include seizures, headaches, visual problems and sleep disturbances. Some of the most persistent and common functional problems include memory impairment, difficulties in concentration, and deficits in language use and visual perception. In addition, vulnerable to TBI are problem solving, abstract reasoning, judgment, processing and information organization. Mood disorders, personality changes, emotional control, depression and anxiety are also common in traumatic brain injuries caused by a car accident.
Steps to protect yourself after an auto accident:
1. Seek emergency care for your personal injuries and traumatic brain injury immediately.
2. Document all TBI symptoms and complaints as soon as possible, no matter how minor.
3. Ask your doctor for appropriate tests to diagnose a brain injury. Most doctors order MRI or CT scans, which show structural changes in the brain. However, most brain injuries, even severe and debilitating, do not appear on MRI. This is why it is also important to get functional tests. The tests to be considered are Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT).
4. If problems with your head injury persist, ask your doctor for referral to a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist has experience in brain functioning. Through a series of tests, a neuropsychologist can help determine the location and extent of any brain injury.
5. Hire an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer to get fair compensation for the damage sustained in a car accident. Defense attorneys often hire doctors who accuse people of exaggerating their injuries or having pre-existing conditions. It is important to hire a TBI lawyer who knows how to protect you and who can expose these "experts" and their misleading accusations.
Remember that the traumatic brain injury law and the auto accident exceptions that exist under each state's law require very specialized knowledge. There are helpful online links to TBI auto accident victims, including a list of valuable resources and information directories for locating an experienced attorney.