One of the natural responses to an incident that leaves someone with a traumatic brain injury is for people to have a lot of different questions. This is a difficult and confusing time, not only for the person who has been injured but also for that person’s family and friends. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys have come to recognize several questions with regards to head trauma that are more common than others. In our effort to help you understand what has happened, what is happening and how to put all of this into some sort of context, we’d like to provide you some examples of frequently asked questions with regards to traumatic brain injuries.
Certain blows to the head will lead to an obvious conclusion that someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury. For instance, if someone suffers an open head injury that creates a large and deep wound, that person has clearly suffered a brain injury. However, some traumatic brain injuries are relatively subtle. People may think – even for a period of days or weeks – that they have not suffered an injury to their brain only to have symptoms begin to appear at some later time. The best way to handle this type of situation is to obtain a full medical evaluation after suffering any type of blow to the head.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, approximately 1.7 million people suffer some form of traumatic brain injury every year in the United States. 275,000 people suffer a brain injury on an annual basis that is severe enough to require a hospital stay. More than 50,000 people are killed every year because of traumatic brain injuries. It should also be noted that there are likely many more people that suffer traumatic brain injuries than what is reported in available statistics. That’s because an unknown number of people suffer head trauma every year that would constitute a traumatic brain injury, but they never report it or obtain proper medical attention.
Concussions are one type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are the most well-known type of traumatic brain injury, but there are several others that are common. A concussion is, at its most basic level, a bruising of the brain tissue that results from the infliction of some type of force on the head. Other traumatic brain injuries can involve bleeding within the brain, tearing of the brain tissue or some other form or forms of harm. Concussions should be treated with the utmost urgency and seriousness, however, as the symptoms from a concussion can linger for a very long time.
There is really no way to determine ahead of time how long the symptoms and effects of a traumatic brain injury will last. Even the mildest traumatic brain injury can take weeks if not months to recover from for an otherwise healthy patient. It’s not uncommon for the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to last years. Some people will struggle with the effects of a traumatic brain injury for the rest of their lives. What’s important is for a person in this position to continue to work with medical professionals to manage the situation as carefully as possible.
There are all different types of symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury. One symptoms that’s quite common and that clearly indicates a serious injury is the loss of consciousness after a blow to the head. Beyond that initial indication, people can suffer from symptoms that include memory loss, vision problems, mood swings, trouble sleeping and many others. One of the most challenging aspects of traumatic brain injuries is that the symptoms associated with them can change over time. This creates serious difficulties both for the person who has been injured and his or her support system.
As more and more people are reporting to hospitals after suffering head trauma, more statistics are being compiled with respect to the number and causes of traumatic brain injuries. Based on available statistics, examples of leading causes of these injuries include: falls, traffic accidents, being struck by an object or colliding with an object and assaults. However, a large number – approximately 350,000 people per year to be specific – suffer traumatic brain injuries where the cause is recorded as unknown.
There is no way to completely guarantee that someone will never suffer a traumatic brain injury. Too many of these injuries occur because of accidents and/or because of the actions of other people. The best way to minimize the chances that someone will suffer a traumatic brain injury is to take precautionary steps that are appropriate for every situation. For instance, if you are going to be driving or riding in a vehicle, make sure that you wear a seatbelt and that any child riding in the vehicle is strapped into an appropriate car seat. If you are going to be riding a bicycle, wear a helmet. Simple precautionary measures can make the difference between a severe traumatic brain injury and no injury at all.
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are often invisible to an observer. Thankfully, most people are extremely understanding and empathetic if they understand a situation, particularly people who care about you. You should simply tell them that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury. You should also tell them about any symptoms that may affect your dynamic with them and explain that symptoms can change over time. If you’re going to need a particular person’s help and support as you fight through your recovery, ask for it. Overall, be open and honest about it as there is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about whatsoever.
The difference between a traumatic brain injury attorney and a general personal injury attorney is much like the difference between a doctor with a general practice and a doctor who specializes in a particular area of the body or disease. People who have suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the actions of someone else need to seek the legal help of traumatic brain injury lawyers who understand the particularities of these situations.
Every legal situation is different, just as every situation in which someone causes someone else to suffer a traumatic brain injury is different. The bottom line is that people who are forced into this situation need to do what they can to make sure that they understand their legal rights and options. This requires an analysis of the situation by someone who dedicates his or her professional life to helping people who are forced to deal with this challenge.
If this includes you or someone you love, contact the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.