Aftermath of a Traumatic Brain Injury and Your Vital Legal Rights
A victim of a traumatic brain injury must understand the complexities and challenges that follow that type of profound injury. As a result of the consequences of a TBI, a victim of someone else’s negligence must have capable, committed representation like a traumatic brain injury lawyer from Brain Injury Attorneys at 800-337-7436.
The stark reality is that a person who suffers a TBI as the result of another party’s negligent, reckless, or even intentional conduct legally has a tremendous amount at stake. While complete justice is impossible, tenacious legal representation better ensures that a victim of a traumatic brain injury is able to obtain necessary compensation. Understanding all that can follow sustaining a TBI underscores why this is the case.
Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury
A person who suffers a traumatic brain injury, or a brain injury associated with oxygen deprivation, must seek immediate medical evaluation, care, and treatment. This is the case even if an individual sincerely believes that he or she has not sustained a serious injury. One of the most important facts to remember in the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury is that even a mild incident can degrade into a very serious health crisis without any additional warning, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Human Development.
In aftermath of any type of blow to the head, a person needs to be taken to see a doctor immediately. In many if not most cases, this means being taken to the emergency room. If an individual is ambulatory and functioning in a seemingly normal manner, and if the doctor can see the person immediately, a visit to a primary physician may be an acceptable alternative. What is never appropriate is to simply conclude that an individual that sustained a traumatic brain injury is not in need of care and treatment in the absence of a professional medical evaluation.
Emergency Medical Intervention
Immediate emergency medical intervention can be vital following a traumatic brain injury. This must happen in order to prevent further injury or even death.
An array of medications may be used following a TBI that include:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Coma-inducing drugs
Surgery can follow a TBI in order to attempt to minimize additional damage to a victim’s brain. There are four primary types of approaches to brain surgery as a means of attempting to protect a person from additional injury:
- Removal of clotted blood. A traumatic brain injury oftentimes results in bleeding around or outside and within the brain. One of the effects of bleeding of this nature is the collection of blood clots, also known as hematoma. When this occurs, additional pressure is put on the brain that further damages brain tissue. If surgical intervention does not occur, brain injury can be significantly aggravated, resulting in more permanent damage to a TBI victim.
- Repair fractured skull. Certain types of TBI can result in a fractured skull. This happens when a blow to the head is particularly significant or when a penetrating wound has occurred. When these types of scenarios occur, emergency surgery is necessary in order to repair a fractured skull. In addition, emergency medical intervention may be required in order to remove skull fragments from brain tissue.
- Stop bleeding in the brain. As already mentioned, bleeding in the brain following a traumatic brain injury can have devastating and even fatal consequences. A common reason why emergency surgery is required following a TBI is to stop bleeding in the brain caused by a head injury.
- Open window in the skull. Another commonplace consequence of a TBI is not only the accumulation of blood in and around the brain but of cerebrospinal fluid as well. These fluids also need to be removed or drained in order to reduce the level of swelling that occurs following a traumatic brain injury. As a result, in the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, another surgical procedure that may be required is one that opens a window in the skull. This surgical action provides more room for swollen brain tissue as a means of preventing further damage or even death.
Depending on the nature and extent of the damages a person sustains in the aftermath of a TBI and following emergency care and treatment, different types of rehabilitation are likely to follow, according to the world-renowned John Hopkins University Medical Center. The fact is that many individuals who sustain moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries spend a considerable amount of time in rehabilitation. Indeed, an individual with a TBI may be involved in rehabilitation for months if not years.
Following a stabilization of a victim of traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation commences as soon as possible. Depending on the specific circumstances, rehabilitation can start in a matter of a day or two after a TBI or within the same time period after some type of surgical intervention. Of course, there are other situations in which a brain injury resulting from a trauma or associated surgical and other procedures do not permit a relatively immediate undertaking of the rehabilitation process. A considerable amount of time may have to pass before rehab can start.
Rehabilitation following and for a traumatic brain injury is a multifaceted, comprehensive endeavor that involves the care, treatment, and assistance of a number of professionals working as a team. These include:
- Physiatrist. A physiatrist is a physician trained in rehabilitation and physical medicine. A physiatrist oversees the rehab process. This doctor manages any issues and prescribes medications as needed.
- Physical therapist. A physical therapist assists with issues involving mobility as well as relearning movement patterns, balance. and walking.
- Occupational therapist. An occupational therapist helps an individual with a TBI learn, relearn, or improve skills to enable that person the abilities to perform necessary everyday activities.
- Recreational therapist. A recreational therapist assists a person with a TBI in regard to leisure activities and time management.
- Vocational counselor. A vocational counselor assesses the ability to return to work coupled with appropriate vocational opportunities. A vocational counselor also provides resources for addressing common challenges in the workplace potentially faced by an individual with a traumatic brain injury.
- Speech therapist. A TBI speech therapist assists a person with a traumatic brain injury improve communication skills. This type of therapist also aids a client with the use of assistive communication devices if necessary.
- Neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist is responsible for assessing cognitive impairment and performance. A neuropsychologist also aids a person with a TBI manage behaviors or learn coping strategies. This professional also provides psychotherapy as needed for the emotional and psychological well-being of the person with traumatic brain injury.
- Social worker. A TBI social worker facilitates access to different service agencies, assists with various care decisions and planning, as well as facilitates communication among various professionals, care providers, and a TBI patient’s family members.
- Rehabilitation nurse. A rehabilitation nurse provides continuing, ongoing rehabilitation services and care. This nurse also assists with discharge planning from a hospital or rehabilitation center.
- Traumatic brain injury nurse specialist. This type of nurse helps coordinate care. This nurse specialist also educates the family about a TBI and recovery process.
Justice and Compensation Following a TBI Caused by Someone’s Negligence
The nature and extent of compensation necessary to restore some semblance of justice following a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident or incident that caused the damages. With that said, there is an array of losses for which compensation commonly is sought following a traumatic brain injury:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
Compensation includes not only money for existing injuries, damages, and losses but also for those that reasonably can be expected to be endured in the future. For example, a TBI victim may require medical care and treatment well into the future. A person suffering from traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence may not return to work for an extended period of time. Indeed, an individual with a TBI may never be able to return to the same position of employment following an accident.
In some cases, a tenacious traumatic brain injury lawyer may be able to seek what are known as punitive damages for a client with a TBI. Punitive damages represent additional compensation in a case in which the conduct of the party that caused the accident or other incident is so egregious that the TBI victim deserves additional compensation.
The Doctor, the Lawyer: Restoring Your Life After a Traumatic Brain Injury
In addition to the medical team, effective legal representation is vital to restoring a person’s life following a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence. The process of retaining a traumatic brain injury attorney begins with contacting the team at Brain Injury Attorneys by calling 800-337-7436.