There is nearly a 20% chance that you or someone close to you will suffer a concussion this year. Whether they are in a car accident, bicycle accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or slip and fall, over 30% of such concussions will lead to long-term, potentially permanent disability. Even worse, many of these concussions are mild and go unnoticed and untreated. If you or someone you know sustained a head injury after an accident, it’s important to contact a San Antonio traumatic brain injury attorney who can make sure you get the medical treatment you need.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. A sudden, abrupt movement or deceleration that makes the head stop can also cause a brain injury. In other words, even a jolt to the body can cause a brain injury, even when there is no direct impact on the head. Here, the brain keeps moving, creating a shearing effect as the different structures of the brain tear away from each other, twisting and stretching neurons as the brain slams against the inside of the skull.
This is the kind of serious injury a CT scan in the emergency room will fail to identify. Often, a week after an accident, an MRI will reveal white or bright spots around the brain where there is shearing. The person will most likely be in a coma or in an induced coma. The body is at work, clearing dead tissue. The axons are stretched, and some may die right away, but the largest percentage will die off later. It is the secondary injury, the body trying to clear out dead tissue, that can cause further cell death. That inflammatory effect can even lead to further damage or even death if left untreated.
The first phase of a TBI is the primary injury, wherein brain tissues are violently thrown around inside of the skull. The primary injury changes the way the brain functions and brings about a secondary injury that can be even more devastating. The secondary injury can go on for months and create dangerous conditions in the brain, such as oxygen deprivation, inflammation, or excess fluid in the skull. That’s why victims of concussion can die a week or two after an initial head injury. It’s also why symptoms can linger even in a mild concussion.
Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Most TBIs that occur each year are mild. These are what we call concussions. A severe TBI often results in coma, severe brain inflammation, disability, and sometimes death.
The various causes of a traumatic brain injury can be broken down as follows:
There are about 3 to 4.5 million concussions every year. Almost 2 million of these brain injuries occur to people age 19 and under. Below are some additional brain injury statistics:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30 percent of all injury deaths. Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities that often persist the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be hard to diagnose, especially in cases of mild brain injury. Furthermore, most brain injuries do not show up on standard diagnostic tests, such as CT scans. Also, neurological testing can lead to a false negative, leaving the injured person plagued with headaches, irritability, and confusion. Because of this, many brain injuries go untreated. Therefore, it’s important to look for the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.
Common symptoms of a brain injury include the following:
There is no cure for traumatic brain injuries or concussions. The brain must heal itself. What medical providers try to do is optimize the conditions for the brain to be able to heal itself. One popular method of treatment is called the Omega-3 protocol. You can read more about it here.
Many people who have brain injuries will require rehabilitation. Rehabilitation specialists may include the following:
A brain injury can be permanent depending on the severity of the injury, treatment received, and other factors. Each brain injury is unique. Other factors that can influence recovery include the force of the impact, the location of the brain injury, the direction of the force, the health of the injured person, and the timing and quality of treatment.
Follow these tips to reduce the risk of brain injury:
It’s always good to have an attorney represent you if you are injured in an accident. Having an attorney on your side will level the playing field, making sure the insurance company doesn’t pay you less than you deserve for your injury.
However, it’s even more important to have an attorney if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury. As stated above, brain injuries are notoriously under-diagnosed since they don’t show up on most standard emergency room tests. An experienced brain injury attorney will make sure you are seen by a doctor who understands brain injuries. Furthermore, the sooner you treat a brain injury, the better chance you have at a full recovery.
Attorney Daniel Willis has worked inside the insurance industry handling hundreds of lawsuits and has even won at trial for the insurance companies. He can make sure you are adequately compensated for your brain injury lawsuit.
The San Antonio-based attorneys of D. Willis Law have experience, knowledge, and proven results to help you receive compensation for your traumatic brain injury.
A traumatic brain injury can be an incredibly serious, life-changing experience. Get help from those who can ease the burden on you.
If you or someone you know sustained a head injury after an accident, contact D. Willis Law today for your free consultation. We would love to help you.