Brain injuries resulting from car crashes and other accidents have become more common over the past decade. Even seemingly mild head injuries carry the potential for permanent disability or impairment.
Caused by a sudden impact or blow to the head, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) disrupt normal brain functions. In the case of a severe blow, a return to normal function and cognition may be impossible, rendering the victim unable to carry out some cognitive functioning.
Potential Head Injury Consequences
In the case of a mild blow to the head, the victim may be diagnosed with a concussion. And while this diagnosis historically hasn’t been cause for great concern, scientists have discovered that concussions may be more serious than previously believed.
This is especially true if the victim loses consciousness, even temporarily. Severe head injuries can cause loss of speech, vision or hearing, sometimes permanently.
Along with sensory impairment, accident victims may suffer from cognitive impairment as well, with varying degrees of severity. Some victims lose the ability to learn, solve problems or use logic. Others lose the ability to process emotions.
In some cases, victims undergo dramatic personality changes or lose large portions of their memory. Depending on the part of the brain that experienced damage, motor function can be lost temporarily or permanently. Some patients must re-learn to walk, eat or dress themselves.
Treating a Head or Brain Injury
When brain injuries occur, immediate medical evaluation and treatment is critical.
If no obvious open wounds are present, medical personnel may have difficultly determining the extent of the damage. MRI and other imaging techniques are used to detect any obvious areas of damage, but unfortunately, cognitive impairment and personality changes may not manifest until much later.
In most head injury cases, no known medical or surgical treatment exists to undo the damage. Psychological evaluation can help identify the basis of any potential impairment. Most affected patients will require occupational therapy to help them learn to care for their own daily needs and perform normal life tasks.
Some types of therapy can help restore memory or motor function, but for many patients, permanent impairment means they will need a lifetime of care.
Obtaining Care and Compensation for Brain Injury Victims
If one of your loved ones has been the victim of a traumatic head injury, especially if the injury was caused by a car or truck accident, motorcycle crash or the negligence of another party, you may be able to seek legal recourse. This approach is especially important if the victim will require extensive care or is unable to return to work.
Because the effects of TBI may not appear for weeks or months, legal experts recommend taking a careful approach to insurance settlements. When any type of neurological injury is involved, insurance companies may attempt to push through a quick settlement.
Once a settlement has been accepted, neither the victim nor his or her family members have any recourse to seek additional compensation, even if a more severe injury is detected later. For this reason, experts advise finding an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you.
With an attorney on your side, the insurance company will be unable to pressure or persuade you or your loved one to take a quick payout. An attorney can help explain the complexities of the legal system and the victims’ rights, to ensure that their needs will be met, no matter how long they may suffer the lasting effects of their brain injuries.
Source by Jen Stott