Some traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be monitored at home after initial care, while others require staying in the hospital for a lengthy period. Mild TBIs (concussions) can disrupt your life, causing headaches or difficulty performing tasks. Moderate TBIs may require more care and a longer recovery, including physical or occupational therapy. Severe TBIs can cause coma, paralysis, and even death.
Because there is so much variance, you should seek medical help immediately after any head injury. You may not feel the symptoms of a TBI immediately, and delaying care can worsen the injury. These injuries are time-consuming and costly to treat, so if a negligent party caused your TBI, you can hire a brain injury lawyer in Rutherfordton following a TBI to get help paying for your medical treatment and other losses.
Symptoms can vary based on factors like the force of the accident, the area of the brain damaged, and even the age and other unique aspects of the injured victim. That said, some symptoms do indicate a more severe injury.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you suffered a mild brain injury or concussion, you may exhibit signs like:
- Ringing ears
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
- Sleep changes
You may lose consciousness briefly with a mild TBI or have trouble with your speech. Any of these are indications that you should see a doctor.
With a moderate TBI, you can experience any of the above symptoms as well as:
- Long periods of unconsciousness
- Convulsions or vomiting
- Cognitive problems like confusion, loss of memory, difficulty understanding, or trouble multitasking
- Motor deficits like muscle weakness, loss of balance, or poor coordination
- Communication issues like trouble finding words, slurred speech, or difficulty writing or reading
- Personal difficulties like anxiety or depression, excessive sleep, and personality changes
Symptoms of serious traumatic brain injuries can include all the above, plus:
- Seizures or traumatic epilepsy
- Clear fluid draining from the nose or ears
- Incontinence or lack of bowel control
- Difficulty swallowing
- Numbness in the limbs or paralysis
- Prolonged loss of consciousness or coma
If you experience or see someone experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical help, as severe TBIs can cause permanent damage.
The causes of a traumatic brain injury can include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Sports and recreation accidents
- Violence or combat
The type of accident you suffer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more or less likely to experience a mild, moderate, or severe TBI. Instead, what influences the level of brain injury is factors like the force of the accident, whether a helmet or airbags protected you, and how quickly you sought care.
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Doctors will do a battery of tests to assess the severity of your TBI. These exams can include imaging like CT scans and MRIs, as well as a physical and neurological exam. From there, treatment depends on the level of injury.
Overall, treatment costs for TBIs are typically higher than for other injuries. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that hospital stays for TBIs are typically longer and more expensive than other injuries.
On top of that, even mild TBIs can affect your ability to work. If you’re worried about missing income or paying bills while recovering from a brain injury, you can seek assistance from a personal injury lawyer.
Treating a Mild Brain Injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your doctor may send you home after initial care for a mild TBI. You may have to get back to your normal routine slowly and attend follow-up appointments. Recovery times range from days to months, depending on symptoms.
Treating a Moderate Brain Injury
If you have a moderate TBI, doctors may monitor you for a longer period to ensure you don’t develop more severe symptoms. Johns Hopkins Medicine points out that TBI victims may suffer a secondary brain injury, which can occur hours or days after the primary brain injury.
Moderate brain injury treatment often includes hospital stays, imaging tests, and intracranial pressure monitoring. Some injuries require surgery.
Recovery can involve physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as counseling to help you cope with the process. You may also need the help of specialists like social workers, recreational therapists, or vocational counselors.
Treating a Severe Brain Injury
With severe brain injuries, you may need treatment like:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Coma-inducing drugs
- Surgery to treat blood clots, fractures, or bleeding
- Medical equipment like a wheelchair
- Assistance with grooming and bathing
- Long-term medications
- In-home nursing help and support
- More intense therapies
In the most severe TBI cases, victims experience life-long consequences. The goal of recovery is to reach a new normal, not pre-injury status. You may need to seek disability benefits with the help of a Social Security Disability attorney.
You can take action to recover compensation if a negligent party caused your TBI. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at our firm determine whether an insurance claim, lawsuit, or workers’ compensation claim is the right fit for your injury.
Through these options, you could recover damages to pay for:
- Your medical care
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages during your recovery
- Reduced ability to earn income
- Pain and suffering and reduced quality of life
You could face opposition from the liable party, no matter the severity of your brain injury. For mild TBIs, the other party might argue that you’re not as injured as you claim. For severe TBIs, they may try to cut corners to trim down what they owe. Whatever the case, a personal injury attorney can keep the other party’s tactics in check and pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Contact our firm 24/7 to learn about traumatic brain injuries and how their severity could affect you and your future. Our legal team will work with your health care providers to assess what you need both now and down the line. Reach out now for a free consultation.