According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. TBIs can occur in many ways, but the third leading cause in all age groups is motor vehicle accidents, which account for over 14 percent of all TBIs each year and 26 percent of all TBI-related deaths. The risk of a TBI is a serious concern for victims of car accidents. Not only do they need medical care, but also the advice and assistance of a law firm experienced in pursuing damages for traumatic brain injury.
Possible Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
Sometimes a head injury suffered in a car accident is obvious, particularly if the victim suffered an open head wound or is clearly in an altered mental state. However, often symptoms of a traumatic brain injury don’t surface for several days or weeks following a crash. It’s important that car accident victims are aware of symptoms that could indicate a TBI, including the following:
- Physical problems. These may include loss of consciousness, seizures, headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, reduced muscle strength, and impairments in movement, balance, or coordination.
- Sensory deficits. A victim of a TBI may be more or less sensitive to sensations; experience altered sensations; or be unable to identify his or her own location in space.
- Behavioral changes. TBI victims can go through changes in experiencing or expressing emotions; agitation and/or combativeness; and anxiety, stress, and depression. They may also suffer mood swings, impulsivity, irritability, and a reduced tolerance for frustration.
- Cognitive deficits. These effects may involve changes in the victim’s ability to pay attention to tasks, reason, and problem-solving methods.
- Communication deficits. TBI sufferers may have difficulty understanding or producing speech correctly. They may also have trouble with spelling, writing, and reading.
If you or a loved one suffered a blow to the head in a car accident, it's essential that you have a thorough medical evaluation to assess whether you suffered a TBI. Even in a mild form, a TBI can seriously affect functionality, and one brain injury puts you at risk of much more serious consequences if you were to suffer another one.
Long-Term Consequences of Serious TBI
When a person suffers a serious TBI, the result may be a permanent disability requiring long-term treatment or lifelong care. Victims of severe TBI may be left completely dependent upon the care of others or may need extensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy to become independent once again. Some of the more devastating effects of a catastrophic TBI include:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of vision
- Loss of speech and comprehension
- Cognitive impairment
- Long- or short-term memory loss
These impairments can leave the victim unable to care for himself and could require assistance in a long-term care facility or from an in-home care provider. Ongoing therapy, special schools, and other expensive treatments may be necessary.
Why the Lawyer You Choose to Represent You Matters
If you or a loved one suffered a serious TBI in a car accident that was not your fault, you need a lawyer who is experienced in handling traumatic injury cases. Not only do these kinds of injuries require much larger financial settlements than less serious ones, but also the insurance company for the negligent driver will fight even harder to deny fault. An experienced traumatic injury attorney knows that cases like these take time to settle as you wait to see what level of recovery is possible for the victim. When less-experienced lawyers accept quick settlements, their clients may lose out on the potential for more damages based on eventual medical outcomes.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.