It is an understatement to say that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change your life. Though it is already a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, statistics show that the problem is getting more severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the amount of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths increased by 53 percent from 2006 to 2014. An average of 155 people in the United States died every day from TBI-related injuries in the year 2014 alone. Survivors of TBI can be affected for just a few days or the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one has survived traumatic brain injury (TBI), you will want to know what to expect.
According to the CDC, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain and is caused by a bump, a blow, or a jolt to the head. There are many different types and levels of TBI. Generally speaking, TBIs are either penetrating or closed. A penetrating TBI is an injury that compromises the dura, or the outer layer of the meninges. A closed TBI is an injury where the dura remains intact. Only 1 to 2 percent of TBIs are penetrating injuries. Closed TBIs can be mild, moderate, or severe. A variety of different accidents can lead to a TBI, with falls being the leading cause. Seeking immediate care is vital to recovering from any TBI. The rehabilitation process will begin from the moment the survivor regains consciousness. Depending on the level of TBI, survivors will have to work to recover any lost skills and recover cognitive functions.
TBI can make itself known in many different ways. Some symptoms are more evident to onlookers than others. A person with repeated vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, convulsions, and loss of coordination, for instance, will clearly be seen as unwell. Other symptoms, however, may be more difficult for others to see—especially for survivors of mild TBI. More commonly overlooked symptoms of TBI include, but are not limited to:
Friends and family of TBI survivors should be patient as they get accustomed to their lives after injury. It may take them longer than usual to carry out their daily activities, and they may require extra assistance. Automatically assuming that someone has fully recovered because they “look fine” is a mistake. Remember to check in with your loved ones to see if there is anything you can do to help. They are going through something inherently traumatic—they need your support now more than ever.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to look down on TBI survivors. There are many misconceptions about TBI making people lazy, unmotivated, or slow. In reality, giving TBI survivors full autonomy and respect will only aid in their recovery. Allow survivors the time to finish their sentences, no matter how much trouble they seem to be having. It is understandable to want to do everything for a TBI victim after their injury. However, acting naturally with your loved ones may also help them maintain a sense of normalcy throughout their recovery. You may think you are relieving them of any unnecessary burdens on their way to recovery. On the contrary, TBI survivors can only relearn basic tasks and develop new neural connections when allowed to execute their tasks themselves. Talking directly to your loved one’s neurologist, physical therapist, and physician is the best way to understand how you can aid in their recovery.
Survivors may have a hard time adjusting back to social life. As we have already established, a TBI can heighten sensory awareness and cause individuals to tire more easily. TBIs can also leave individuals with communication issues and trouble understanding social norms. All of this can cause survivors to avoid crowds and social gatherings. Plus, survivors may adopt repetitive behaviors or tasks after an injury that seem off-putting to outsiders. For example, they may talk themselves through tasks or always take the same routes walking or driving. Still, survivors need to spend routine time with friends and family for optimum recovery. Having strong social bonds reduces the risk of depression and can assist survivors in reintegrating into society. When it comes to socializing with TBI survivors, try to keep your interactions with small groups and quieter settings until they are ready to move onto larger and louder backgrounds.
If you or a loved one have recently been a victim of personal injury, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Do not be fooled by insurance companies claiming to have your best interests at heart. As businesses, they have every reason to minimize your settlement—if you are even lucky enough to get one at all. Get your full damages by working with a skilled legal team.
When it comes to personal injury, time is of the essence. If you want to collect damages, then you should act as soon as possible. Each type of accident has a different statute of limitations. If you fail to file before your statute expires, the courts may bar you indefinitely from seeking compensation for your injuries. A good lawyer will also need adequate time to prepare a successful claim. Do not let something as simple as tardiness sabotage your chances of recovery. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide personal injury attorneys.