Many injuries sustained during auto accidents consume a person physically, financially, and emotionally, but the repercussions of a car accident that causes a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be unimaginably extensive. Each year auto accidents are responsible for over half of all the reported traumatic brain injuries sustained in the United States.1 Due to the share number of TBIs that are caused by auto accidents it is important to understand the symptoms and treatments as a step towards seeking fair compensation.
The Basics of Car Accident TBI
During an auto accident traumatic brain injury can occur when a forceful impact or blow has enough power to penetrate or fracture the skull.2 This type of injury can occur in a couple of different ways as an open or closed head injury.3 Common incidents during a car crash that result in a TBI include ejection from a vehicle or sharp contact with an internal element of the vehicle such as a steering wheel or windshield.4
Understanding the Symptoms of TBI
Traumatic brain injuries present with a large range of symptoms and associated disabilities. The first step when a person presents to a medical practitioner with possible symptoms of a TBI, diagnosis is based on using different scales. The two most common scales are the Glasgow Coma and Ranchos Los Amigos.5 The Glasgow scale, for instance, measures motor responses, verbal responses, and eye opening behavior to categorize a person in one of four levels for survival between mild and severe disability.6 The highest end of the spectrum, sever brain injury, is recognized by a loss of consciousness greater than 6 hours.7 Outside of a person being in a vegetative state, persistent vegetate state, or having complete brain death, cognitive deficits is a leading symptom of a severe TBI. These deficits will cause a person to suffer from difficulties with attention, concentration, destractibility, memory, speed of processing, confusion, perseveration, impulsiveness, and language processing.8 A severe TBI is often associated with a decline in sensory and perceptual abilities recognized by struggles with interpreting touch, temperature, movement, limb position, and fine discrimination, as well as processing the sensory impressions into psychologically meaningful data.9 Other symptoms associated with severe traumatic brain injuries include impairments to or complete loss of vision, hearing, smell, and taste. A person who suffers from a TBI or a caregiver will recognize physical changes such as paralysis, chronic pain, loss of control of the bowel and bladder, sleep disorders, loss of stamina, appetite changes, and menstrual difficulties.10 The last form of significant TBI symptoms are social-emotional behavioral changes such as lack of motivation, irritability, aggression, depression, and dis-inhibition.11 Since the spectrum of symptoms is very expansive seeking the medical advice of a professional is the only way to fully understand the severity of a TBI.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident that resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury it is important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced brain injury attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests as a victim of a car accident. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.