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When Is A Concussion Serious

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Some people often think a concussion is not serious enough, as injuries go, to give them legal rights to compensation. Nothing could be further from the truth and that the term “mild traumatic brain injury” is a prime example of a misleading use of words.

In fact, there is nothing mild whatsoever about a so-called mild traumatic brain injury. A brain injury, by definition, is a serious medical condition with potentially permanent consequences for its victim. Individuals who suffer any kind of traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful actions deserve compensation for their injuries and losses. 

MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: WHAT IT IS, AND ISN’T
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain sustains damage as a result of an external force, usually a blow, jolt, or penetrating injury. The initial force typically causes direct damage to brain tissue by causing the brain to shift, rotate, or deform inside the skull. Further damage often follows that initial injury, the result of bleeding or swelling that increases pressure inside the skull. In the case of a penetrating injury, an infection can cause further complications.

Doctors classify TBIs as mild, moderate, or severe.  The classification of a traumatic brain injury reflects the presence or absence of certain diagnostic criteria immediately following the injury-causing event, including:

  • Whether the patient lost consciousness
  • Whether the patient suffered amnesia (memory loss) surrounding the circumstances of the injury
  • Whether the patient suffered an altered mental state (confusion, disorientation) at the time of the injury
  • Whether the patient suffered neurological impairments (such as dizziness or weakness) at the time of the injury
  • The visible presence of abnormalities (or lesions) in diagnostic scans of the patient’s brain.


Note that the classification of a brain injury focuses on the immediate symptoms the victim shows after suffering a TBI. That is because the classification serves, at least in part, as a rough guide for doctors to determine an immediate course of treatment. The classification does not, however, reliably indicate the duration or severity of symptoms. In fact, some victims of moderate or severe TBIs may experience more complete and rapid recoveries from their injuries than victims of a mild TBI.

In other words, a mild traumatic brain injury is a brain injury caused by physical trauma that presents the most “mild” symptoms in the immediate aftermath of the event, compared to more severe potential brain injuries. It is not, however, necessarily mild in terms of how it impacts the victim’s life.

HOW MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES HAPPEN

Mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, happen the same way as most TBIs: from a blow or jolt to the head. Here are some examples;

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls in which victims strike their heads on the ground, or even take a jarring blow to the body
  • Collisions while playing contact sports.
  • Explosions and other concussive events


LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF MTBI
A concussion, or mTBI, features some typical symptoms right away. The symptoms doctors use to classify the injury include a loss of consciousness lasting minutes, at most, temporary confusion or disorientation, and dizziness or seeing stars. For the lucky, these symptoms will pass before too long—in a matter of days or weeks, hopefully. However, for up to 50 percent of concussion victims, the symptoms do not go away. Instead, these victims suffer persistent symptoms that last long past the expected recovery period.

According to UCLA Health, these post-concussive syndrome sufferers may experience months or years of symptoms that include:
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty with memory and perception
  • Impaired concentration and attention
  • Fatigue
  • Personality changes
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Visual changes
  • Increased sensitivity to light and noise
  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Decreased sex drive

Not all people who suffer post-concussive syndrome will have all of these symptoms, and symptoms may come and go over time. According to UCLA, treatment of these symptoms is highly individualized, and may require treatment by a neurologist or neurosurgeon, who may prescribe medication or other forms of therapy.

LEGAL RIGHTS OF MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY VICTIMS WITH LONG LASTING SYMPTOMS

Victims of concussions who suffer from the long-term effects of post-concussive syndrome often find that they need help and support to manage their lives while they recover from and adapt to their injuries.

Unfortunately, many of them mistake the “mild” label a doctor put on their TBI as an indication that they do not have, or deserve, legal rights to compensation.  TBI of any kind is a severe injury, and victims have a right to compensation when that injury results from someone else’s careless or reckless actions. 


COMPENSATION FOR THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF MTBI
Victim compensation can help with such things as;
  • Medical expenses, past and future, associated with treating their concussion and post-concussive syndrome symptoms
  • Other expenses incurred because of injuries, such as the costs of hiring help with daily activities while they recover
  • Past and future lost income attributable to missing work or never returning to work because of injuries;
  • Physical pain, emotional suffering, and diminished enjoyment of life because of injuries
  • In some cases, punitive damages to punish the party at-fault for extreme or outrageous behavior
Always take the potential for brain injuries seriously. This starts with recognizing that you could suffer a TBI in any event in which you suffer a blow or jolt to the head or body.  When such an incident occurs, you should immediately seek medical attention.   

If the medical personnel believe that you may have some form of TBI, follow their instructions, carefully chart your symptoms and keep good records.  As soon as possible, you should speak to a qualified, experienced attorney about your TBI matter.  
 
An experienced and skilled legal counsel, like those at LDM Law, can help you recieve substantial compensation to  manage the challenges of living with post-concussive symptoms. With over 40 years of TBI experience, we fight to ensure that our clients recieve the compensation and justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered aa TBI injury of any kind, contact our offices to for a free consultation today!