When people think of big lawsuit awards or settlements against insurance companies, people tend to think of totaled cars and broken bones, but soft tissue damage like Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can result in severe and prolonged, painful injury and lifelong disability. TBI is an alteration in brain function caused by an external force. Hitting your head sounds like an easy injury to prove, right? But even though TBI injuries can happen in any car accident, success in TBI lawsuits can be notoriously difficult.
Let’s say you are in a car accident. You do not have any broken bones, and maybe you do not even have any major cuts or much car damage. The adrenaline wears off, and you go home without seeking medical attention. Thinking back on the accident, you realize you remember most of the sequence of events leading up to the car accident, but may have blacked out and lost consciousness for just a moment or two. No one personally witnessed you losing consciousness, and you feel fine for the day.
But all it takes is a brief second of impact to cause extensive soft tissue injuries. It is possible to have TBI and not even immediately realize it without proper medical testing.
Recognizing, diagnosing and treating TBI requires an array of professionals and experts. No two people are exactly alike and a part of this is because no two brains are alike. This means that recognizing brain injury without professional help can be extremely difficult. And the ability of one person’s brain to heal around an injury can be completely different from another person’s ability to heal. There are also different levels of TBI.
The 3 Levels of TBI
The three levels of TBI are mild, moderate and severe levels and each present themselves differently in those who are injured. In mild TBI cases, you could lose consciousness only for a quick moment or not at all and still have TBI. Usually, the measurement for TBI is 0-30 minutes for mild TBI, 30 minutes to 24 hours for moderate TBI and over 24 hours for severe TBI. But how long you lose consciousness is just one consideration and does not completely determine the level of how much TBI you are suffering.
Similarly, some experts believe that how strong the force of impact is does not determine whether or not you lose consciousness. If you lose consciousness, it can be because of the direction of force that affects your brain, rather than how hard you were hit.
Symptoms of TBI
Neuropsychological testing or quantified cognitive assessment can evaluate symptoms of TBI – and last up to 3 months after your accident:
- getting tired easily,
- difficulty sleeping,
- dizziness or vertigo,
- feeling easily irritated or aggressive,
- feeling anxious, depressed or unstable,
- not caring about things the way you used to care about them, or
- any changes in personality like social habits in your personal life
Those with TBI may also have cognitive defects like changes or challenges in their level of awareness, reasoning, language, how they recognize and perceive spaces as well as their overall intelligence as a result of their head injury.
If TBI symptoms persist after the first 3 months from the date of the head injury, then it could be considered Post-Concussion Syndrome (PSC) which affects how you think, your physical health and your behavior.
All of these can make it difficult to perform professionally, and return to normal life since brain injuries make it hard to retain memories, attention problems, your ability to process information and more.
Finding and diagnosing TBI can also be a challenge in lawsuits since TBI does not always appear in x-rays, regular CT scans or standard MRI imaging. The injury can be in one area, or affect multiple areas and tissues in the brain. Depending on which area of the brain was injured, the symptoms of a person suffering from a brain injury can vary.
For example, if the part of the brain that was injured was related to a person’s ability to speak, he or she may find it difficult to communicate verbally. But if this part of the brain was left uninjured, he or she may not have any of those symptoms. Even when it is detected, it must be treated by neurologists, neuropsychologists and more. While experts have seen that recovery is possible, in some cases it is a limited amount of recovery, meaning that those who suffer from TBI may never be exactly the same way as they were before.
Moving forward from TBI
In general, attorneys recommend that you seek medical treatment immediately after an accident. Not only does it ensure you get medical care you need, but it helps document your injuries. In some cases, nurses make notes about symptoms you may not even realize you have. What you consider a minor headache may be a cause of concern for a medical professional. These notes may later also become evidence so that if the insurance company refuses to pay for the full extent of treatment, you have proof and documentation of your injuries.
Navigating complex personal injury cases, recognizing the full extent of injuries and building your case can be difficult if not impossible to handle on your own. Experienced attorneys recognize the approaches and tactics used by insurance companies. The right attorney can advise you to help you identify the best step forward in getting you all of the compensation you deserve.
Are you trying to secure your financial recovery with the help of experienced attorneys? If so, we can help.
The Pusch & Nguyen Law Firm has helped countless Texans handle their insurance disputes. Our experienced trial lawyers have gone up against some of the biggest names in the insurance industry while successfully bringing home payouts for clients. Our successful reputation speaks for itself, and with offices in both Houston and San Antonio, we are well equipped to assist Texans who are in dire need of our services. Register online for a free case evaluation or call us today at 713-528-8108 (Houston) or 210-702-3000 to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.