Traumatic Brain Injury: An Injury to the Brain Changes the Personality Into a New Person
Few injuries are as unfortunate and devastating as an injury to one’s brain—a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can be the result of any mechanism of injury including car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall injuries, or any other time where the injured person strikes their head on something.
Reach out to a Lakeland brain injury lawyer for a free review of the merits of your case.
TBI symptoms can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. A mild TBI often results in a brief change in mental status (i.e. concussion).
Moderate and severe TBI cases more frequently see unconsciousness, ataxia, coma, and even death. According to the CDC, approximately 1.7 million TBI cases occur every year the U.S. and there are approximately 5.3 million people living with a disability caused by a TBI.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
TBI symptoms can include the following:
- Extreme Vomiting
- Unexpected or Unusual Lethargy
- Extended Headache
- Confusion or Mental Status Change
- Loss of consciousness
- Pupil Dilation
- Vision changes (blurred vision or diplopia, not able to tolerate bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness)
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (which may be clear or blood-tinged) coming out of the ears or nose
- Dizziness or problems with maintaining balance
- Difficulty problems
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Bradypnea (abnormally slow breathing) with increased blood pressure
- Auditory changes or ringing in ears
- Memory or Cognitive Processing issues
- Inappropriate or socially unacceptable behavior or emotional responses
- Difficulty speaking
- Trouble with swallowing
- Neurological Deficits including numbness or tingling
- Eyelid droop or facial weakness
- Loss of bowel function or control
Closed Head Injury
The typical injury to the brain occurs when the brain, which is normally suspended inside the skull in liquid, impacts the inside of the skull resulting in bleeding or swelling to the tissue of the brain. This is called a closed head injury.
Bleeding or swelling of the brain because of a traumatic brain injury should be treated by a neurosurgeon through various techniques to relieve the excess pressure inside the skull. Failure to relieve intracranial pressure results in permanent and irreversible brain damage and can lead to death.
Penetrating Head Wounds
A penetrating brain injury, on the other hand, occurs when an object protrudes through the skull and damages the tissue of the brain. Both a closed head injury and a penetrating head wound are serious medical conditions and require immediate medical treatment.
Many TBI patients are taken directly from the emergency room to surgery when they have a moderate or severe head injury. Mild TBI patients on the other hand typically get a head CT and are discharged from the emergency room with instructions to obtain follow up care or to return upon a worsening of symptoms.
Challenges Of Caring For A Family Member With A TBI
When a family member sustains a brain injury due to an accident or medical malpractice, the rest of the family becomes intimately involved in caring for that person on a day to day basis. No one is going to take care of your loved one like you will. Health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid may pay the medical expenses and for home health care, but they do not take care of 100% of the day to day responsibilities.
The only alternative to family support is institutionalized care. Many families regard institutionalized care as callous and uncaring despite its increased cost over living at home with assistance.
The issue with many people with traumatic brain injuries is that they are left with only partial capacity. This means that they can walk and talk but they are not normal as far as behavior and impulses.
Without support from family members, a person with a brain injury can find themselves in inappropriate situations possibly resulting in physical harm or criminal trouble. Essentially, people with a brain injury cannot help themselves despite their often normal outward appearance.
This is where the challenge lies for the family but it can also be a challenge to get a jury to understand as well. Unfortunately, the world we live in is judgmental. Much of society does not truly understand what an injury to the brain does to a person and does not understand the damage to the person and the family. This is where a brain injury attorney can help you the most.
Hire a Knowledgeable and Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact a Lakeland Traumatic Brain Injury lawyer for professional legal advice on your case. A consultation with a Lakeland Traumatic Brain Injury attorney is free.
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For recent legal topics, please see our personal injury blog and read our answers to frequently asked questions. We assist the families of those with a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident in Polk County, including Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, and Haines City, Florida.