People who are injured in an accident can suffer many different kinds of injuries. Among the most serious, as well as the hardest to diagnose and treat, are traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), sometimes known as “closed-head trauma”. Even a relatively minor TBI can cause the victim to suffer serious problems. TBI’s send more than 400,000 people to the hospital for treatment each year, three-quarters of whom are males between the ages of 15 and 34.
The problem with treating TBI’s is that many doctors are not adequately trained in the neuroscience of head injuries and are unable to properly diagnose the injury when they encounter one. Most doctors are capable of recognizing serious TBI’s, but the less debilitating TBI’s are more difficult to diagnose because there are often few outward signs of the internal injury.
Many people who suffer such TBI’s do not receive the appropriate treatment. The long-term effects of a TBI can include many and varied symptoms, such as seizures, headaches, dizziness, and problems with memory and concentration. However, TBI’s can cause other symptoms not commonly associated with the brain, including loss of motor control, fatigue, depression, speech disorders, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and a short temper, as well as an increased chance of getting lost or becoming agitated.
Given the variety of symptoms and the difficulty some doctors have connecting them to the TBI, treatment is often delayed or not provided at all, and the patient continues to suffer, often unaware of the cause of his problems. Even when a TBI victim has been correctly diagnosed, the variety of symptoms can make treatment expensive and difficult.
Legally, it is often difficult to prove that symptoms suffered by a TBI victim are directly related to the TBI as doctors can be slow to diagnose the connection and proving that a TBI has caused the symptoms that a person describes to the jury in court can be difficult. Also, many of the people who serve on juries have trouble believing that a head injury can cause so many different problems, not all of which are related to the victim’s brain function. All of these factors make it more difficult for a TBI victim to win a full recovery of damages for the injury.
If you have suffered a TBI, even a minor one, and are suffering from symptoms that you never experienced before being injured, stay on top of your healthcare providers. While not all symptoms that a person may suffer from are necessarily caused by a TBI, the range of symptoms is great and it may take some time to get a correct diagnosis.
If you are involved in a lawsuit where you or a loved one suffered a TBI, be sure to retain qualified counsel to help you prepare and present what can be a difficult and complex case. This way you can help ensure that you are fully compensated for all of the injuries that you or yours have suffered.