Every year it is estimated that 1.5 million individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 2% of the U.S. population is living with some degree of disability as a result of a TBI.
TBI can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe, although there is not a consensus in the medical community on the exact definition of each type and the lines between mild and moderate often get blurred.
A concussion is the same thing as a mild traumatic brain injury. However, most people do not realized that just because the traumatic brain injury is classified as mild, does not mean that everyone fully recovers from it. Many injured victims go on to suffer life-long cognitive deficits from a mild traumatic brain injury.
There are three organizations that have provided the most used definition of a traumatic brain injury, The World Health Organization (WHO), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC); and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM).
According to the ACRM, a patient with a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function manifested by at least ONE of the following:
- Any period of loss of consciousness;
- Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident;
- Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (eg, feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused);
- And focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient, including loss of consciousness or post traumatic amnesia.
This definition includes the head being struck, the head striking an object, or the brain undergoing an acceleration/deceleration movement (ie whiplash) without direct external trauma to the head.
mTBI has become known as the invisible injury because there are often no external signs of injury to the brain and individuals who experience mTBI often have subtle or vague symptoms that are confused or mistaken for other problems.
Diagnosing and treating mTBI is extremely challenging. Proving it in a court of law is even more challenging. This is why you need a team of experienced TBI lawyers who can help you receive the correct treatments and prove your case to a jury. Future medical care is expensive and without the right team fighting for your care, many victims are left to a broken system that does not correctly diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries.
Symptoms of TBI
Depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury, symptoms may include
- Memory loss
- Loss of consciousness
- Visual disturbances
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of smell (anosmia)
- Mood swings
- Concentration problems
- Problems with focus and attention
Of course, not every patient suffers every symptom, and some symptoms may not appear on the day of the accident. Most mild traumatic brain injuries resolve within 3 months, but an increasing body of medical literature has demonstrated that up to 50% of victims of mild traumatic brain injury continue to suffer symptoms and/or cognitive problems a year following the incident.
Traumatic Brain Injury can occur and be diagnosed when a victim suffers head trauma, or severe rotational forces which causes them to lose consciousness, or be dazed and confused and suffer amnesia, headaches or other symptoms. However, the real challenge in diagnosing TBI is to determine the nature, extent, severity and prognosis for these injuries.
Neuroimaging like Cat Scans, and MRI’s have proven to be extremely helpful in assisting with the determination of these factors. Technological advances in imaging techniques has produced new methods to better visualize brain tissue affected in TBI.
Neuropsychological testing also can be a very valuable tool to help determine the nature and extent of TBI on a victim’s cognitive (thought) processes. In a patient with a known and demonstrated TBI, this type of testing allows health care providers to see how the injury has affected the victim’s daily and work functioning in focus, attention, concentration and multi-tasking tasks.
How Can We Help
Our experienced TBI attorneys have the resources to hire the top neuroradiologists, (Brain radiologists) neuropsychologists and neurologists who are trained in diagnosing and treating TBI’s. Understanding the medicine is the key to effectively explaining it to the jury. Our team prides itself on teaching every detail to the jury.
And our results have been well documented and demonstrated both in the courtroom and at settlement conferences. Our team has produced verdicts and settlements in TBI cases totaling over $50,000,000 in the last 7 years alone. Let us help you get the diagnosis and care you need to recover all of the amounts you are entitled to from this devastating injury.