Your Options After TBI
Recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) is rarely easy. The condition can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Since symptoms are often subtle and hard to spot, the full extent of the injury may not become clear for some time.
As you work towards regaining your life with a TBI, you may rely heavily on friends, family, and broader support networks. But that isn’t always enough. If someone was at fault for your TBI, you may be able to take legal action to gain the support you need to get better.
What is TBI?
Many people living with TBI have a combination of different types of injury, affecting different parts of the brain.
- Concussion: a mild injury that may cause loss of consciousness;
- Contusion (coup or contrecoup): bruise to a part of the brain, either at the site of impact or opposite side;
- Diffuse axonal injury: damage to the nerve cells caused by the movement of the brain inside the skull;
- Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: bleeding in the area around the brain;
- Hematoma: blood clot as the result of a blood vessel rupture.
In some cases, the brain swells in an attempt to heal the injury. This inflammatory response is a secondary brain injury that can further complicate the condition.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive brain disease most associated with athletes, such as boxers, footballers and hockey players, who had repeated blows to the head. In addition to memory loss, impaired judgment and impulse control, CTE can lead to progressive dementia.
What Are the Symptoms?
Some people are not aware they have a brain injury. Others experience rapid changes in their mental or physical condition. Often, it is those around the injured person who spot the signs of TBI before the injured person themselves knows they are affected. Since symptoms of brain injury exist on a range, people may have one or several of these effects.
- Loss of consciousness, from a few seconds to several hours
- Confusion, from brief periods to days or weeks
- Headache, nausea, vomiting
- Fatigue, drowsiness, sleeping too much or problems sleeping
- Speech problems, slurred speech
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, bad taste in the mouth, other sensory changes
- Depression, anxiety, other mood changes
- Memory or concentration problems
- Convulsions or seizures
- Pupillary dilation, affecting one or both eyes
- Clear fluid draining from nose or ears
- Loss of coordination, numbness or weakness in extremities
Since the list of symptoms is long, it is always essential to see a medical professional as soon as possible if you suspect you may have a TBI.
These symptoms may arise after suffering a blow to the head or a sudden jolt after a car accident or other event. Only a doctor can let you know for sure.
How is it Treated?
Treatment for TBI depends on the location and severity of the injury. While those who have a mild TBI may only need rest or over-the-counter medication, those with severe TBI may need surgery and long-term rehabilitation. That rehabilitation can have several aspects, from helping you to regain speech, physical and cognitive skills to assisting with reentering the workforce and engaging in leisure activities.
If your loved one is living with a TBI, your family may need the help of a medical team. That team can assist with day-to-day living and focus on the long-term prognosis for health and wellbeing. Few families can handle this task alone, and no one should have to feel overwhelmed by caring for a loved one.
What if Someone Caused My TBI?
There are many events that may result in TBI. It is not always a mere “accident” that simply came out of the blue. Of the almost unlimited number of scenarios that may give rise to TBI, here are some of the most common:
- Car accident
- Gunshot wound
- Sports injuries
- Workplace mishaps
- Personal injury or accident
Sometimes, one person, a group of people, or an institution, fails to act responsibly. If this failure to act accordingly leads to a serious injury like a TBI, you can sue under the law of negligence. Even if you think there was no one at fault for your TBI, speaking to an attorney can help you to explore the full extent of your legal options.
In the case of TBI, legal action can help you to get the resources you need to assist in your recovery. As a family, you may have few options to give your loved one the full support and care they deserve, not just now, but for years to come.
Typically, there is a statute of limitations on bringing a legal claim. That means you only have so much time to file a lawsuit against an individual or insurance company. However, that statute of limitations usually depends on when you understood the full extent of your injuries or had an awareness that you had a potential legal claim.
Where Can I Go for Help?
You may have a long road ahead after a TBI diagnosis. There may be many unknowns. By exploring your legal options with a personal injury attorney, you can try to be prepared for whatever comes. There are many places where you can learn more. See:
- 10 Must-Listen-To Podcasts if You’ve Been Seriously Injured in an Accident
- New Hope for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Treatment: Current Trends and Research.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – in depth overview
Smiley Law Firm works with you and your family to decide what is best for you now and for the future. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today by clicking the link below. Remember traumatic brain injury is nothing to take lightly. Seek medical help first and reach out to your attorney second.
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