Even Mild TBIs Can Cause Cognitive Impairments
Traumatic brain injuries, commonly known as TBIs, are usually sustained in motor vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian, slip-and-fall, boating, and other types of serious accidents. The extent of these injuries can also range from mild to severe, and the length of time it takes for a patient to recover from a traumatic brain injury depends primarily on the severity of the injury sustained – and the way in which it was sustained. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, a patient’s recovery time can range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years following the date of injury.
It is important to understand that all traumatic brain injuries – even so-called “mild” TBIs – are serious injuries because they involve the victim’s brain and central nervous system functioning.
If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. The knowledgeable New Port Richey traumatic brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can help you pursue litigation, allowing you the time you need to recover from your injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics Nationwide
In the United States, approximately 1.5 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries of varying degrees on an annual basis. This translates into approximately one traumatic brain injury sustained every 21 seconds. If these statistics are not alarming enough, in many serious accident cases, the TBI victim is not even aware of just how serious the injury is until long after sustaining it.
Generally speaking, the longer a TBI victim waits to seek treatment, the more serious and irreversible the symptoms, injuries, and damages sustained. Although some TBIs are characterized as ‘mild’ or ‘moderate,’ all TBIs can have significant and potentially lifelong impacts on an accident victim’s cognitive functioning.
Causes of TBIs
TBIs are brain injuries which are usually caused by external trauma or blunt force applied to the accident victim’s head. When the brain strikes the front or back of the accident victim’s skull, the brain’s internal functioning may be affected and damaged. This can lead to a myriad of symptoms, the most common of which are short and long-term memory losses and other cognitive impairments.
Common Symptoms Associated with Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild traumatic brain injuries are usually characterized by minor concussions or other relatively minor head injuries. While the symptoms associated with mild or moderate traumatic brain injuries are not usually permanent or lifelong in nature, these injuries can still affect brain functioning and can result in cognitive impairment.
It is also important to note that while short-term, less serious traumatic brain injuries oftentimes manifest themselves immediately, at other times, the symptoms may not manifest themselves until weeks or months after the accident victim sustained the TBI. Some common examples of cognitive impairments associated with mild-to-moderate TBIs include the following:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Short-term memory losses and amnesia
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulties focusing or concentrating
Need for Medical Treatment Following a Mild TBI
Unlike other organs in the human body, the brain is extremely complex, and scientists have only recently begun to understand the brain’s complex functions and activities. As such, the effects of traumatic brain injuries can be difficult for doctors and other health care providers to predict.
Because every person’s anatomy is different, brain swelling and other internal brain conditions may vary from person to person, depending largely upon an accident victim’s age and pre-injury ability levels. As a result, recovery periods – even for mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injuries – can be difficult for health care professionals to gauge or predict.
The safest thing to do after being injured in an accident – even if you are not sure you sustained a head injury – is to immediately seek follow-up medical care and treatment at a hospital. A hospital will be able to conduct the necessary medical examinations, tests, and imaging studies, such as x-rays and MRI’s, in order to determine the nature and extent of any head injuries you may have sustained. Waiting to seek treatment until it is too late will only make your symptoms worse and can potentially turn a mild traumatic brain injury into a serious traumatic brain injury accompanied by serious and permanent disability or damage.
Symptoms Associated with Serious Traumatic Brain Injuries
Serious traumatic brain injuries usually consist of a coma (during which time the accident victim is unconscious and unresponsive), a vegetative state (during which time an accident victim may alternate between asleep and awake), and a period of minimal consciousness (during which time an accident victim may be able to respond to auditory or visual stimuli and cues).
Common symptoms associated with long-term traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Long-term memory losses
- Slurred speech
- Long-lasting confusion or disorientation
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme mood swings
- Loss of taste or smell senses
- A temporary or permanent comatose (i.e. vegetative) state
- Permanent inability to move or function
Contact a Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Even relatively minor traumatic brain injuries can result in cognitive impairments and other limitations. More serious traumatic brain injuries can be devastating and can have potentially lifelong impacts on both an accident victim, as well as the accident victim’s loved ones.
Traumatic brain injuries are unpredictable, and symptoms can manifest themselves weeks or even months after the date of the accident. Early detection and treatment at a hospital can prevent these symptoms from worsening and can allow you to start on the road to recovery.
The experienced and compassionate Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group will be able to advocate on your behalf during settlement negotiations and throughout the litigation process. If the insurance company refuses to settle your case favorably, our aggressive team of attorneys can take your case to trial or explore alternative dispute resolution processes.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765