Morrin Law Office
Traumatic Brain Injuries in Richmond, KY
After a car accident, slip and fall accident, an accident involving a semi-truck, 18 wheeler tractor trailer, bus, or other large vehicles, serious injuries are common, especially when you hit your head hard, or you get trapped or ejected from the vehicle. After a serious collision or concussion, you may have broken bones or severe back pain, even loss of feeling, but some injuries are not quite so obvious. This is often the case with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), especially when several serious injuries are involved.
TBIs are not only some of the most serious injuries that people can sustain in car accidents, but they’re also very common. According to the CDC, during the years between 2006 and 2014, the amount of TBI-related emergency department visits in the United States increased by 53 percent. The problem is that the number of accident victims suffering from TBIs is likely far higher because this injury type is often difficult to detect. Sometimes, symptoms either don’t show up or aren’t noticed, for days or weeks following an accident. This can drastically delay recovery. It’s for this reason that everyone should know the signs to look for after they hit their head in a car accident.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to RxWiki, a traumatic brain injury is a form of brain injury that occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain, such as when the head suddenly hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. A “mild TBI” is usually called a concussion but can ultimately be severe enough to lead to unconsciousness, amnesia, permanent brain damage, or even death. The medical term “mild” simply means that the injury is less severe than if a piece of glass or metal was stuck in your head and often implies a loss of consciousness for seconds or even minutes. It is estimated that half of all TBIs are sustained in car accidents, especially the severe accidents when the car is hit hard from the side (t-bone collision), head-on collision, or a high-speed accident involving a drunk driver.
What are the types of traumatic brain injuries?
MILD TBI – A mild traumatic injury is a brain injury that occurs after either no loss of consciousness or loss of consciousness up to a few minutes. If someone is confused or disoriented after an accident then they likely suffered a mild traumatic brain injury even if they did not lose consciousness. A CT scan, or even an MRI scan, can miss brain injuries if the permanent injury is subtle or if the MRI isn’t properly calibrated. Even mild brain injuries can cause permanent symptoms.
MODERATE TBI – A moderate traumatic brain injury usually involves loss of consciousness up to a few hours. Confusion and feeling disoriented may last for a few days or weeks. The complications caused by these brain injuries often involve physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms and limitations that call for multiple treatment programs. Moderate brain injuries often cause permanent symptoms.
SEVERE TBI – A severe traumatic brain injury is usually caused by a crushing blow to the head or some kind of penetration of the skull and/or brain. Severe brain injuries have devastating, often permanent effects on a person. Severe injuries can be caused with or without structural damage to the skull but the most severe injuries usually do cause a crack or break in the skull, and even brain swelling.
How do you know if you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury?
When you know the signs and symptoms of a TBI, you can tell your doctor about them right away. This allows your doctor to alter their course of treatment if necessary and get you back to your best life sooner than if you left the injuries untreated. The most common signs of a TBI include:
- State of being dazed or disoriented
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea, with or without vomiting
- Loss of consciousness or any part of the wreck which you don’t remember
- Ringing in ears
- Bad taste in mouth
- Change in sleep patterns
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Extreme fatigue, perhaps even falling asleep in odd locations such as work
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Inappropriately loud speech
- Increased confusion
- Delayed reactions
- Problems with balance and motor functions
- Sudden bursts of crying
- Increased irritability
- Behavior that is not consistent with the individual’s character
- • Agitated or combative behavior
What to do after you’ve hit your head in a car accident in Kentucky
At the first sign of an injury after an accident, it’s important to seek medical treatment. This is not only to treat your injury and get back to your best health right away, but also because failing to do so could give the insurance company an excuse to not cover your medical expenses, even significant medical expenses from a serious injury. A jury or insurance company may think you’re not that hurt bad if you didn’t see a doctor, and they may deny compensation; that is what the attorney hired by the insurance company is going to argue. On the other hand, medical reports and other documents also serve as valuable evidence in a personal injury claim. Many insurance company adjusters view the medical record as the most definitive account of how severe your injury is so it’s important that you are honest with your care providers about what you have experienced since your injury. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious injury in an accident, call an experience Kentucky Personal Injury lawyer today!
Of course, no personal injury claim is as important as getting the medical care you need immediately. TBIs, even if properly treated, are very serious injuries that oftentimes have long-lasting effects. This is why it’s so important to get the proper testing and imaging of your brain after a concussion or brain injury. Sometimes, people sustain TBIs but they don’t show any apparent signs and symptoms at all. An emergency room doctor will perform an examination to determine if there is a medical emergency calling for emergency surgery or treatment. Emergency rooms do not look for all permanent injuries so it’s important to follow-up with your primary care physician after a car wreck. Your primary care physician should know what to look for, diagnose any head injuries, and then prescribe proper treatment such as a DTI MRI or other objective brain imaging test. Knowing the answers to the following questions will help the doctor judge the severity of the injury:
1) How did it occur? Where on the head and with what force?
2) Did the victim lose consciousness? If so, how long?
3) Any other changes noticeable in speaking, coordination, or alertness?
4) Was the victim whipped around violently in the accident?
Every brain injury victim should get lot of rest and take their time returning to their daily responsibilities. If you’ve suffered a severe concussion or even a mild traumatic brain injury, you should only use prescription drugs as prescribed and avoid alcohol until given the all clear by your doctor. Take notes if you struggle with your memory and remembering things for the time being. And, of course, be very careful to avoid additional head trauma during your recovery and get medical care immediately if you hit your head during this time.
What not to do after you’ve suffered a concussion in an accident
Anyone who has lost consciousness during or immediately after a car wreck or accident in Kentucky should report it to their doctor or to the staff at the emergency room. Doing the following immediately after a concussion can cause more damage and can even delay your recovery:
- Physical Exercise: An increased heart rate may worsen your concussion symptoms after your head has been hit hard.
- Mental Activities: Reading, computer work, video games, texting, or watching TV can be detrimental to your recovery after a traumatic brain injury and you should limit or avoid these activities immediately after a concussion.
- Driving: After a concussion, your reaction time can be limited and driving with limited reaction capacity is extremely dangerous.
- Pain Relievers: Taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications may increase your risk of bleeding, and internal bleeding in the head, mask symptoms, and may lead to worsening symptoms once the medication has worn off.
Get Help from a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer After a TBI
Hearing the diagnosis that you’ve sustained a concussion or a traumatic brain injury is a frightening time. You’re unsure of the future, and whether or not you’ll be able to do the things you once loved. The right personal injury lawyer in Kentucky can help you significantly if they handle personal injury cases every day.
If you’ve been in an accident and think you may have sustained a TBI or any other injury, contact Kentucky’s local personal injury professionals, the Morrin Law Office, at (859) 358-0300. We want to help you get back to your best life as soon as possible, and we’ll help you secure compensation from the insurance companies that will allow you to get on with your life. Don’t try to take on the insurance company defending the other driver on your own. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation to determine how much you are entitled to so you can get the help you need and get back to your best life.