In recent years, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about traumatic brain injury (TBI) in connection with football–from the NFL down to the Pace High School player who suffered a TBI during a game against Westminster last fall. But, contact sports are just one way people sustain TBIs. In fact, brain injuries are far more common than most people realize.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.5 million people visited hospital emergency departments with traumatic brain injuries in a single year. In that same year, TBIs resulted in more than 280,000 hospitalizations. Across the U.S., TBIs kill about 150 people each day.
“Traumatic” doesn’t describe the seriousness of the injury, but the nature of the event that caused the brain injury. Some TBIs are relatively mild, and the injured person recovers completely. But, others result in long-term or permanent injury, with varying symptoms and degrees of limitation.
Recognizing a TBI
Immediately after a car accident, sports injury, or other jarring incident or blow to the head, it may be difficult to know how serious a head injury is. Headaches, blurred vision, and other symptoms are common after even minor head injuries, and also may result from other injuries, such as whiplash.
The sooner a TBI is identified and treatment begins, the better. So, if you have any sense that you may have a head injury, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a medical professional.
The list of possible traumatic brain injury symptoms is long and varied. TBIs are broken out into mild, moderate, and severe injuries. But, there is overlap in symptoms from one level to another.
Some of the most common physical symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Neck Pain
- Slurred Speech
But, a TBI may also trigger physical symptoms that aren’t so obviously connected to a head injury. These include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Hearing loss
- Difficulty swallowing
And, traumatic brain injuries can cause other short-term or long-term symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disruptions
- Memory impairment
- Decreased problem solving ability
- Inability to organize thoughts
Of course, the extent and duration of TBI-related limitations will depend on both the specific symptoms suffered and their severity. About 80,000 people each year suffer TBIs that will have long-term effects. These effects can impact relationships, employment opportunities, and even whether the injured person is able to work at all.
Managing Traumatic Brain Injuries
The good news is that traumatic brain injuries can be treated, and many of the limitations triggered by the injury can be managed successfully. With proper diagnosis and treatment, recovery can be ongoing. Some elements of managing a TBI are as simple as ensuring adequate sleep, while others may involve occupational therapy or the development of systems to manage deficits like memory impairment.
That’s why it’s critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible, to follow through with any recommendations your physician makes, and to seek follow-up medical care if your symptoms persist or worsen, or if new symptoms arise.
Pursuing fair compensation for your injury when another party was responsible or the injury occurred at work can make a significant difference in your recovery by:
- Ensuring access to potentially expensive and long-term medical care
- Providing for physical or occupational therapy as needed
- Supporting mental health services for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other psychological effects
- Replacing income if the injured person is unable to work or has seen a decrease in earning capacity due to the injury
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs happen in many ways. Some of the most common include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Accidental or intentional blows to the head
The incidents can occur in many ways: at home, in a public place, or on the job. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury, responsible parties may include:
- A negligent driver who caused or contributed to the motor vehicle accident that caused the injury
- A school or sports club that failed to adequately protect athletes
- A property owner whose negligence led to an injury-causing fall
If the injury occurred on the job, workers’ compensation will typically provide medical care and partial replacement income. While workers’ compensation is generally an exclusive remedy as to the employer, meaning that you can’t sue your employer for an on-the-job injury, there may sometimes be additional compensation available. For instance, if you were injured on a construction site due to the negligence of a contractor or other party outside your company, you may have a personal injury claim against them.
The best way to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation after a TBI and who may be responsible is to talk with an attorney who is experienced with both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases.
Atlanta attorney ReShea Balams fights for maximum compensation for people who have been injured on the job or through someone else’s negligence. The Balams Firm offers free, no-obligation consultations so injury victims can gather the information they need to make good decisions in difficult times. You can schedule yours right now by calling 855-352-2727 or filling out the contact form on this page.