Depending on their severity, brain injuries can be life-altering and have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of a brain injury early on to get the proper medical treatment and pursue legal action if it was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Here, we’ll cover what is a brain injury, what symptoms it involves, how they are diagnosed, and how to pursue legal action after a brain injury in Virginia.
What is a Brain Injury?
A brain injury occurs when brain function is disrupted by an external factor like a blow or jolt to the head. This often results from accidents or falls. However, brain injuries can also be caused by other factors, like infections or disease. The severity of brain injuries can vary widely, and they range from mild concussions that temporarily affect brain cells to severe, long-term damage impacting all aspects of a person’s life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 69,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States per year according to the last reports. That’s about 190 TBI-related deaths every day! In this scenario, it’s very important to be aware of brain injury symptoms and treat them early on, but also to look for legal help in order to claim compensation to cover medical bills.
Types of Brain Injuries
The spectrum of brain injuries includes concussions, contusions, and more severe injuries such as diffuse axonal injuries or penetrating injuries. Each type carries its own prognosis and potential for long-term effects:
- Concussions: Common yet serious, concussions disrupt brain function, causing symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and confusion. While often temporary, they can have lasting effects if repeated.
- Diffuse axonal injuries: Caused by severe shaking or rotational forces, these injuries involve the tearing of brain tissue and can lead to significant long-term damage, including comma or persistent vegetative state.
- Penetrating injuries: Occurring when an object breaks through the skull, these injuries are extremely serious, often leading to severe brain damage or death, depending on the injury’s location and severity.
Each type of injury requires careful medical evaluation and can have significant legal implications if caused by another’s negligence. In cases where a brain injury is the result of an accident or incident caused by another party, legal action may be necessary to ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve. This compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the injury.
Physical manifestations of a brain injury can be immediate or delayed, ranging from headaches and nausea to more severe symptoms like seizures or paralysis. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offers a complete list of TBI symptoms, according to their severity.
The most common physical symptoms of brain injury include:
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of consciousness
Cognitive and Emotional Symptoms
Beyond the physical, brain injuries often also entail cognitive and emotional symptoms, which can be profoundly disorienting and affect every facet of daily life. The most common cognitive and emotional symptoms of brain injury include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
Whether the symptoms are physical, cognitive, or emotional, they signal a need for immediate medical attention. Timely and accurate diagnosis can significantly influence the treatment and rehabilitation process, potentially mitigating long-term effects.
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The Process of Diagnosing a Brain Injury
If you suspect that you have suffered a brain injury, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. A doctor can perform a variety of tests to diagnose a brain injury, including:
The initial medical assessment following a head injury is critical for determining the immediate needs and the next steps to take for recovery. Healthcare professionals will evaluate the individual’s mental status using the Glasgow Coma Scale to assess the severity of the injury and perform a physical examination.
Imaging tests such as CT scans and MRIs are indispensable tools in the diagnosis of brain injuries to identify any abnormalities in the brain. These tests provide detailed images that can reveal the presence of hematomas, contusions, and swelling in the brain, which are vital when formulating a treatment plan.
Lastly, neuropsychological assessments are used to understand the impact of brain injury on cognitive functions, including memory, attention, and language skills. These tests help delineate areas of impairment and are also essential in planning for rehabilitation and recovery.
The journey to diagnose a brain injury is a critical step in the path to recovery and rehabilitation. It involves a combination of medical expertise, advanced technology, and comprehensive testing. Each stage of the diagnosis, from the initial assessment to the detailed neuropsychological tests, is designed to provide a clear picture of the injury’s impact.
Seeking Legal Help for a Brain Injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible. At Tronfeld West & Durrett, our brain injury lawyers can help you understand your legal options and pursue adequate compensation to cover the full extent of your losses.
The first step is to contact us to schedule an initial consultation. During the consultation (which is free), we will discuss and evaluate the specific circumstances surrounding your brain injury. If we determine that you have a viable case, we can handle all aspects of the legal process. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and negotiating with the other party’s insurance company.
We have over 50 years of experience handling personal injury cases in Virginia, and our lawyers are committed to working tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and schedule your free consultation.