How a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyer Can Help When You’ve Been Injured
Behavioral and Communication Difficulties
Communication and language problems often follow traumatic brain injuries, and these difficulties can cause conflicts and misunderstandings between the person with a TBI and family members, friends, and health care professionals.
Difficulty performing and understanding speech and writing are frequent sequelae of traumatic brain injuries. A person who has experienced a TBI may have difficulty following and participating in conversations and may be unable to organize thoughts and ideas in a coherent fashion.
A person who has experienced a traumatic brain injury may have difficulty in the turn-taking of conversations, as well as difficulty understanding social cues and other nonverbal signals. There may be changes in the tone and pitch of a TBI patient’s speech, and there may be difficulty expressing emotions and attitudes.
Emotional and Behavioral Changes After a Traumatic Brain Injury
Those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury may experience depression, anxiety, mood swings that include irritability and anger, insomnia, and a lack of empathy for others’ experiences, any or all of which can lead to difficulty in social situations with verbal or physical outbursts, difficulty with cognitive inhibition and self-control, as well as risk-taking behavior.
Degenerative Diseases of the Brain
According to research, repeated and/or severe traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of degenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s syndrome (formerly Parkinson’s disease), and dementia pugilistica – a health problem most often associated with repetitive blows to the head among boxers, and featuring symptoms of Alzheimer’s-like dementia as well as difficulty moving.
When to Seek Health Care
When you or a loved one has experienced a blow to the head or body that is of concern, or that has caused changes in your behavior or that of your child, see a neurologist as soon as possible. These changes include a person’s state of consciousness, responsiveness, or awareness.
Although the terms “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” are used to describe how a traumatic brain injury affects brain function, a mild brain injury is nevertheless a serious injury, requiring prompt attention, an accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment to the greatest extent possible.
Complications Can Occur Immediately Or Soon After A Traumatic Brain Injury
The greater the severity of injuries, the greater the frequency of complications, and the greater the likelihood of more severe complications.
Possible severe complications of traumatic brain injury include coma; a vegetative state that may be temporary or permanent; a minimally conscious state; or brain death. When there is no measurable activity in the brain and brainstem, this is termed brain death.
Other physical complications of TBI include seizures, hydrocephalus (fluid accumulation in the brain), infections, damage to blood vessels, and vertigo.
How to Reduce the Incidence of TBI
- Buckle Up: Wear seat belts every ride and have airbags in your vehicle.
- Don’t drive if you’re under the influence of a substance that impairs your thinking and your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. In addition to alcohol and other drugs, certain prescription medications can also impair the ability to drive safely.
- Wear a helmet or protective headgear. When riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, scooter, hoverboard, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, wear a helmet. Wear protective headgear when playing baseball or other contact sports, and while skating, skiing, snowboarding, or when riding a horse.
- Prevention tips for older adults:
- Reduce fall risks by removing area rugs
- Keep stairs and floors free of clutter
- Improve lighting inside and outside the home
- Install handrails on both sides of stairs
- Get regular exercise to improve strength and coordination
- Get regular eye check-ups
- Place a non-slip bathmat in tub or shower
- Create safe living areas and safe play areas for children:
- Don’t allow children to play on balconies or fire escapes
- Install window guards to prevent young children from falling out of open windows
- Use safety gates at the top and bottom stairs when little ones are around
- Keep stairs and floors free of clutter
- Use a non-slip mat in the tub or shower
- Use nonslip backing on area rugs
- Choose playgrounds with shock-absorbing materials on the ground
Maryland and DC Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Traumatic brain injuries are not always easy to diagnose. This is particularly true for concussions, and particularly when symptoms do not show up until days or weeks later.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a TBI:
- See a health care provider right away
- Keep notes about your symptoms, or notes about the signs and symptoms in your loved one
- Call your Maryland or DC TBI attorney at The Lapidus Law Firm for our help. We will guide you through each step of the legal process as you seek/receive medical treatment and recover from your injuries. We can be reached in Maryland at (301) 852-7500 or in DC at (202) 785-5111.