Most people have experienced some kind of blow to the head, whether from a fall, a sports activity, or a bicycle or motor vehicle accident. Just because you may be able to walk away after the event has occurred does not mean that there has not been more extensive trauma to the brain.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been the subject of much attention in the sports world and especially for professional football players, who often suffer from repeated brain injuries during their careers. A TBI can also result from an explosive artillery discharge close to the head, or a slip-and-fall accident. TBIs are common injuries in truck accidents, as the victims of smaller vehicles often slide under the carriage of the truck in a collision. A TBI is also common in motorcycle accidents, as the motorcyclist is often ejected in a collision.
TBIs can range from mild to severe, and occur as a result of a sudden jerk of the head that causes the brain to twist or collide into the skull, resulting in cellular damage and blood vessel breakage. Although three out of four TBIs in this country are mild, sometimes the injured person does not realize the severity of their injury or recognize the symptoms.
What are the symptoms and diagnosis of a TBI?
While the symptoms of mild TBI can range from headache, dizziness, or blurred vision, to ringing of the ears, confusion, or behavioral changes, more severe symptoms can include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Weakness in the extremities
- Slurred speech
- Cognitive difficulties
- Personality changes
Some of these symptoms can become so debilitating that the person is no longer able to perform routine tasks, resume their jobs, or live their lives as they once had.
To diagnose a TBI, a medical provider will conduct a neurological exam that will assess cognitive function, motor skills, coordination, reflexes and eye movement. Some imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans cannot definitively diagnose a TBI, but they can rule out other brain injuries, and also can detect bleeding of the brain.
Filing a claim
For the victim of a TBI that resulted from another person’s careless, negligence, or willful act, it is especially important to have detailed medical records as well as well-documented evidence of the activity, accident, or interaction that was the direct or indirect cause of the TBI.
The harm that a person causes to another person as a result of their careless actions is called negligence. Connecticut laws follow the legal theory of modified comparative negligence, in which the injured party may receive an award for damages from the negligent party if they are not more than 50% at fault for their injuries.
Receiving treatment and care is the first step after an accident that has caused a TBI. But it is also important to fight for your right to receive just compensation for your injuries, which can cover medical expenses, lost earnings, impairment, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.