Often an individual walks away from an accident or a slip and fall with noticeable injuries like broken bones, bruises, and other obvious wounds. While tending to the obvious injuries, victims and medical professionals alike can overlook the non-visible but still very serious traumatic brain injury.
Moderate and severe brain injuries can leave an individual with lifelong impairments that interfere with work, personal relationships, and even basic self-care. Los Angeles TBI lawyer Sean Salamati urges those who have been in an accident or another event involving a blow to the head to be on the lookout for TBI symptoms and to understand your legal rights for compensation.
Importance of recognizing traumatic brain injury symptoms
Often a mild concussion will heal on its own. More serious brain injuries, however, can require medication or other treatment to prevent serious long-term impairment. The problem is that a serious TBI can appear to be mild at first, so it is important for those who experience a blow to the head to follow doctors’ instructions to follow up again if certain symptoms appear.
A study published in May2018 to the JAMA Network looked at this very issue. Researchers followed patients who visited emergency rooms with head injuries and found that even when they experienced moderate or severe symptoms following a concussion, roughly half did not follow up with a medical care provider. Without proper follow-up, a patient cannot be accurately diagnosed or treated.
Diagnosis for proper TBI treatment and recovery
Traumatic brain injury can be diagnosed based on observable symptoms, assessment tests, or imaging tests. Some of the tests include:
- Glasgow Test – allows an initial determination of whether there was a mild, moderate, or severe TBI based on whether the person is able to move, speak, and move his or her eyes
- Speech and language tests – administered by a speech pathologist to assess impact on verbal skills, including the necessary motor skills
- Cognitive tests – target specific cognitive processes and abilities in order to measure impairments in brain processes
- Brain imaging – tests such as CT and MRI allow doctors to view physical damage to the brain such as bruising and swelling
Traumatic brain injury symptoms to look for after an accident
If you or someone dear to you has suffered a strike to the head in an accident or fall, here are a few of the symptoms to look for. These deserve a follow-up with a medical professional, even if an initial medical visit immediately after the accident did not find a serious injury:
- Headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Convulsions or loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech or other problems speaking
- Coordination or balance problems
- Trouble staying awake, falling asleep, or other changes in sleep patterns
Be sure to understand and follow any instruction for follow-up care provided by a medical professional if you are treated for a TBI.
Long-term impact of a TBI
In cases of a mild brain injury, an individual may experience headaches and trouble concentrating for a few days to a few weeks. In more serious cases, they may still be suffering traumatic brain injury symptoms years later.
Long-term effects come in many forms such as:
- Cognitive – including problems with memory, concentration, reasoning, planning, and organization, as well as impairments in language use and visual perception
- Neurological – affecting sensory and motor skills, and even autonomic functions; can include seizures, movement disorders, and sleep disorders
- Behavioral and emotional – leading to increased risk of depression, suicide, divorce, substance abuse, physical aggression, and impaired sexual function
Symptoms of serious impairment may be less apparent in children, who have not yet mastered some of the skills that are affected by a brain injury. For example, a kindergartner who has not yet developed high-level executive functioning skills may not show the symptoms of a brain injury until he or she is old enough to be expected to display advanced organization skills. It is therefore especially important to follow up with TBI assessment for children to improve the likelihood of their traumatic brain injury recovery.
Recovering from a TBI in Southern California
TBI recovery can be a long and expensive road. From medical bills to lost wages to impaired ability to complete personal and household tasks, it can be a stressful experience for the patient and his or her family alike.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain in jury in California and believe someone else’s negligence or recklessness may be to blame, you may be entitled to compensation to help meet your challenges. Under CA law, you may be able to recover for medical bills, as well as compensation for other necessary expenses, pain and suffering, and other monetary and non-monetary losses. Time is limited to file a claim so do not delay. Speak with a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer at the Salamati Law Firm today and receive a free, confidential consultation.
Additional resources to identify TBI symptoms after an accident:
- Mayo Clinic, Traumatic brain injury: Symptoms & causes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557
- JAMA Network, Assessment of Follow-Up Care After Emergency Department Presentation for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2681571