Not every devastating injury is visible. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), for example, can completely change a person’s life. Whenever a person suffers a traumatic blow to their body or head, their brain can bruise and change how it functions. The results are usually dramatic changes in a person’s mobility, personality, and ability to think.
Life after a traumatic brain injury will differ by patient, so it is hard to generalize what kind of future a person is facing after a TBI. A lot will depend on the severity of the injury and how soon the victim sought treatment.
Many victims do not have immediate symptoms but slowly develop them over 24 hours. If you notice any of the following, you might have suffered a TBI and should see a doctor:
- Stiff neck
- Increased sensitivity to light or sound
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty thinking
With a mild TBI, like a concussion, many people do not black out after being hit. However, other people do, especially if their TBI is moderate or severe.
Severe TBIs occur when something penetrates the skull, such as a bullet or a stake, which can dramatically imperil a person’s life. Some people suffer severe TBIs with a closed head injury, meaning nothing penetrates the skull but the traumatic blow causes serious damage to the brain.
Assessing the Severity of the Injury
The severity of a TBI generally refers to the amount of damage to brain tissue. Although this amount cannot be measured directly, doctors estimate the amount of damage by looking at the length of unconsciousness and the depth of the coma.
Most doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale, which analyzes verbal response, motor response, and eye opening. The higher a patient’s score, the more severe their TBI.
Road to Recovery
The length of recovery, and the amount of recovery possible, will differ for each person. However, doctors have seen millions of TBIs over the years, so some generalizations are possible.
Someone with a mild TBI will probably recover quickly, within a couple of months. They might not need anything but medication to manage pain and appropriate rest. It is vital that someone not sustain a second concussion or TBI soon after the first, since recovery from a second TBI is often delayed. Some people with mild TBIs still feel symptoms for years afterwards, so each case is different.
Moderate and severe TBIs often require immediate hospitalization until the patient is stabilized. Recovery typically requires intense therapy, which can include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Behavioral therapy
Patients will probably take medication to help manage pain, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. The amount of progress differs for each patient. Some can make a full (or close to full) recovery after months or years of rehab. Others might never fully recover, especially after a severe TBI, but will need continuing medical care for the rest of their lives.
Speak to DC Law Today
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most serious that we have seen here at DC Law. Victims and their family members need compensation to help them cover medical costs, future medical care, and lost wages.
Fortunately, we can help. Our Austin personal injury lawyers are skilled at obtaining favorable settlements and jury verdicts when someone else’s negligence causes your TBI. To talk to someone today, please call 512-220-1800.