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Brain Injury After a Car Accident

What you Need to Know About Brain Injury Cases if you Were Hurt in a Traffic Accident

If you or someone you love has suffered any brain injury, there is no question that your life is going to change. In the case of a minor brain injury, your life may be disrupted for many months or even years to come. More serious brain injuries can require years to recover or may become a permanent disability. No matter what type of brain injury you have, the most common question a person has is “How long will it take to get better?”

“This is typically the biggest struggle of a person’s life,” said Attorney James Johnson. “If you have had a brain injury you will face many challenges and difficulties on the road to recovery. It takes time and no one knows how long it will take to recover, but there is hope for many who suffer these types of injuries.”

Car Accidents Involving Brain Injuries
Indeed, some of the worst brain injury cases happen when a person is involved in a traffic accident. The head may hit a hard object or be shaken very hard. The impact of a crash can cause brain bruising or bleeding, it can tear the brain stem or the skull could penetrate the brain tissue.

In fact, roughly 14 percent of all Traumatic Brain Injuries are caused by traffic accidents, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report also says every year there are 52,000 people who die from these injuries and 280,000 people are hospitalized.  There are also 2.2 million people who are treated for TBI and released from the emergency room.

Sadly there are also children who are victims of car accidents who suffer these injuries. Some 2,685 children under 14 years old die from brain injuries, 37,000 are hospitalized and 435,000 require an emergency room visit.

There are no mild brain injuries. These are serious injuries with life-changing results.

“People who suffer brain injuries often describe themselves as feeling broken, they can’t function like they used to. They may have to relearn many things they already knew including how to speak, read and write, or walk,” Johnson explains.

Glasgow-Coma Scale for Brain Injuries
A physician will assess a person’s injury and classify generally how severe the injury is by using
the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The scale has three classification levels: Mild Brain Injury, Moderate Brain Injury and Severe Brain Injury.

Mild Brain injuries are the most common and can often be easily not diagnosed. It may not be immediately known in the hours, days or even weeks after a crash or even days later, but left untreated can cause serious damage to the brain. The term mild is given to an injury where the skull is not fractured and loss of consciousness or confusion lasts less than 30 minutes. Keep in mind that this injury is in no way mild.  Sometimes the injured person may not realize they are hurt and may appear normal in the hours after the accident, but if they do not get immediate treatment the injury worsens when it presents itself and the outcome is worsened.

This mildest form of brain injury has symptoms such as headaches, confusion, memory problems, mood swings, vomiting and fatigue. The individual may become disoriented and incoherent. The symptoms of this type of brain injury may last weeks, months or more than a year. Treatments may include speech, cognitive, physical and occupational therapy.

Moderate Brain injuries typically involve a loss of consciousness ranging from 20 minutes to six hours. A severe diagnosis may involve a coma or vegetative state. Victims of this type of injury may not remember what happened to them. If there is significant damage to the brain they may have to relearn virtually everything they once knew before from eating and talking to walking and riding a bicycle.

“There are no two brain injuries that are alike,” said Johnson. “The damage to the brain may affect only certain memories, but not all memories, but with ongoing treatment a person may expect to recover some or all of what has been lost.”

Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries. These types of injuries tend to be far more complex than most resulting from a traffic accident. Unlike other parts of your body, the brain affects all parts of your body and and it doesn’t heal the same way a broken bone or cuts and bruises do. A person’s brain may not regain its previous functions in the same way.  It will also take much longer to heal than other injuries.

The most severe brain injuries are diagnosed when a person loses consciousness for more than six hours and suffers from memory loss longer than 24 hours.  The most serious TBI injuries involve a coma or vegetative state. A person who is conscious may exhibit slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding the spoken word and difficulty reading. Other symptoms can include blurred vision or loss of vision, tinnitus, loss of smell or taste and seizures. Rehabilitation may require long-term treatments and some people may never recover.

People who suffer serious brain injuries may never be the same as they were before the accident, but with time and proper care and therapy they will hopefully become the best they can be under the circumstances.

Brain Injuries and Traffic Accident Claims
People involved in traffic accidents can suffer from many types of brain injuries. Typically the types of injuries involved in a crash are concussions, loss of consciousness, contusions penetrating injuries, open and closed head injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). These may be caused by a direct blow to the head or the jerking force from a whiplash type injury with no impact.

People who suffer brain injuries in a collision are often treated differently by insurance companies because these injuries are so difficult to identify and classify. In some cases, the victim may have the challenge of proving how badly they are hurt. It’s important to get the best care available for the best outcome.

For parents of young people who suffer serious brain injuries, caring for them as they recover can be like raising their child for a second time. It can be physically and emotionally draining to have to become a caregiver to someone who is suffering from a brain injury.

“These types of cases are complicated and require the expertise of an attorney who is knowledgeable in the field and has experience with clients who have suffered a brain injury,” said Attorney James Johnson.

One of the ways a brain injury is diagnosed by doctors is with an MRI or a CT scan, but some injuries such as concussions do not always present themselves on these types of scans. A positive CT or MRI scan simply means that something abnormal has been found on the image of the brain, but it doesn’t indicate how serious an injury is. For example, a negative CT or MRI scan could result from a scan of a person who is in a deep coma. However, these CT and MRI images can be great for diagnosing brain bleed and these patients may have good results after neurosurgery.

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, it’s important that you seek medical help immediately for the best possible outcome. It’s also vital that you get legal assistance if you were injured in a traffic accident. Johnson Attorneys Group wants to help you determine the merits of your case. Contact us at 800-235-6801 for a free consultation today.

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