Whether motorists are involved in a horrible car accident or a minor fender bender, they are at risk for developing catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million hospitalizations, emergency room visits and fatalities associated with traumatic brain injuries in the United States, making it a large concern for Connecticut residents.
When a person’s head experiences a sudden impact, which may occur in a fall or vehicle accident, the soft tissue of the brain can become damaged, causing a traumatic brain injury. According to the CDC, the amount of damage done to the brain will vary from mild to severe depending on the severity of the impact.
Some symptoms of TBI, including repeated nausea and vomiting, seizures, slurred speech, muscle weakness, numbness, confusion and loss of coordination, may show up immediately in moderate to severe cases, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In other mild cases, symptoms may not appear for several days. These symptoms may include headache, fatigue, changes in mood or behavior, trouble concentrating, ringing in the ears, blurred vision and confusion.
In order to diagnose TBI, patients are given a series of speech, language and cognition tests to determine how well they are able to function. Patients may respond differently to the tests depending on which area of the brain was damaged. Imaging tests, including CT scans and MRIs are conducted in an effort to find the injured area of soft tissue. Once the damaged area is found, the physician can create a customized treatment plan to help restore the injured area.
Brain injuries can be extremely difficult to diagnose, as physicians must rely largely on the patient’s interpretation of his or her symptoms. Some mild forms of TBI may not appear on traditional imaging tests; however, if they are left untreated, mild TBI can cause significant cognitive disabilities, according to a FOX News report. A neuroimaging tool, known as diffusion tensor imaging, has been found to detect mild TBI in patients whose brain damage did not appear using traditional imaging methods.
Researchers continue to study the effects of traumatic brain injury on cognitive functioning, as well as ways to better diagnose and treat accident victims.
People who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury as a result of a serious car accident should contact a Connecticut attorney. An established personal injury lawyer can help you explore you options and walk you through the legal process. Traumatic brain injuries can change a person’s life forever. Make sure that you get the compensation you deserve for your case.