Almost every time that someone gets hit in the head, either by an object or another person, there is some type of injury that occurs. With just a slight bump, perhaps caused by hitting the temple of your head against an open cupboard, there will likely be a cut followed by some swelling and a bruise. In other cases of more severe head trauma, a person may be rendered unconscious by being hit in the head. In these cases, a person will likely face some swelling, bruising, and a concussion. A concussion is a term that means temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head, but it is often used to describe the period of time after the concussion in which medical care and observation is needed.
However, while many people believe these types of injuries to be minor, they may actually be very serious traumatic brain injuries. Concussions that are shorter in length, usually under 20-30 minutes, can also be classified as mild traumatic brain injuries. From that point, there are moderate and severe brain injuries. Generally, a person suffering a concussion is observed for a period of time and then given a clean bill of health. Sometimes CAT scans or MRIs are involved in ensuring that no additional damage has been done, depending on the severity of the injury. However, sometimes serious traumatic brain injuries resulting from what appear to be mild concussions are misdiagnosed. When this happens, a person is at increased risk of prolonged neurological damage that may have a profound effect on that person’s well-being and ability to thrive as a human being. Some symptoms of traumatic brain injury that are often overlooked are discussed below.
Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
When a person is taken to the hospital after a bump on the head, especially after loss of consciousness, it is not uncommon for medical providers to perform CAT scans and MRIs to determine the extent of any damage that may have been done to the brain
. Often times, such tests may show that no visible damage has occurred. However, some signs and symptoms that minor traumatic brain injury has in fact occurred include but are not limited to:
· Memory loss;
· Sleep disturbances;
· Feelings of depression;
· Loss of sense of smell;
· Confusion; and
Traumatic brain injury diagnoses require a detailed, extensive neurological examination, and imaging tests are only a part of that process. In some cases, even with mild traumatic brain injuries, symptoms may not appear for days, weeks, or even months after an injury has occurred. Many times, the family and friends of an injured individual realize that the individual is suffering from reduced cognitive ability before the individual realizes it. Other times, confusion over simple tasks a person has performed many times over may lead that person to seek additional medical treatment. However, it is important that such diagnoses be made as soon as possible, and that complete and effective neurological examination be administered in cases of head injuries.
Symptoms of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Often times, signs and symptoms of severe traumatic brain injuries are clearly visible. They likely happen as a result of severe vehicle accidents, dangerous falls, and other large-scale accidents. Many times, these injuries are accompanied by other immediately life-threatening conditions that must be addressed first. However, once a person has been stabilized, thorough neurological examinations must be administered to determine the extent o damage caused by a severe traumatic brain injury. Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury share many of the same symptoms, with much of the difference coming from how long a victim has been unconscious. Some of the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury include but are not limited to:
· Severe attention deficit;
· Slurred speech;
· Problems reading or writing;
· Difficulty with fine motor skills;
· Difficulty with sensory perception (touch, smell, sight, sound, taste);
· Chronic pain; and · Seizures.
For a more comprehensive list of signs and symptoms related to moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, you can check here.
Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Your brain is the control center of your body. It is programmed to retain memories, direct the performance of tasks, and help regulate the different systems in our body. However, when an injury occurs that causes your brain to function less reliably, you stand the chance of losing many aspects of an independent life. You could lose memories of special moments shared with loved ones, your ability to remember how to do routine tasks at work, and even your ability to communicate with family and friends. Every head trauma is serious, and must be addressed by medical professionals promptly and correctly to avoid potentially lifelong damage. If you believe you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be eligible for compensation. You may also be eligible for compensation if such injury was misdiagnosed or improperly cared for by a medical professional. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation about the circumstances surrounding your potential claim.