Top Ten Questions About Traumatic Brain Injuries in Nebraska
All it takes is a moment to turn your world upside down. You were sure you would shake off that dazed feeling. The blow was not anything you have not taken in stride before. Suddenly you do not feel at all like yourself. Once simple day-to-day tasks are difficult and formidable. Connecting with friends or even family is now an exhausting struggle. You feel isolated, alone, and unsure of yourself. Sound like a nightmare? This is the reality many victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) wake up to. Symptoms like this are just a small sample of potential side-effects of a mild TBI.
The full range of potential symptoms after a traumatic brain injury is a bewildering array ranging from a nagging headache to severe cognitive impairment. Disruptive emotional changes, loss of physical sensation, and reduced motor skills are all common. Complicating the matter is the fact that symptoms often do not fully appear right away, and victims may not immediately realize the severity of their injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can escalate quickly and become potentially fatal if left untreated. Anyone with a suspected TBI should seek emergency medical treatment at once.
Traumatic Brain Injury Common Causes in Nebraska
Emergency services treat over 12,000 people a year in Nebraska for traumatic brain injury. Any violent hit to the head, or sudden jarring of the body, can potentially result in a TBI. Unintentional falls are the most common cause of TBI and are especially dangerous for those over 65-years-old or under 4-years-old. Motor vehicle accidents are a substantial source of more serious TBIs that require hospitalization. Sports featuring a lot of contact or frequent falls can also result in a traumatic brain injury. A concussion is one type of mild TBI common in sports. However, these aren’t the only ways to get a TBI as 10 % of all reported cases do not fall outside these categories. Some mild traumatic brain injuries only have a temporary effect on the victim. More severe cases of TBI can result in the brain being physically damaged by bruising, tissue damage or bleeding.
Here are some statistics for common traumatic brain injuries in Nebraska.
- Unintentional falls account for 56% of all TBI hospitalizations and 29% of all fatalities.
- Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for 25% of hospitalizations and 28% of fatalities.
- Sport type injuries resulting in a TBI make up 18% of emergency room visits, although, they only result in 3% of hospitalizations and 1% of fatalities.
- Assaults are the cause of 10% of all traumatic brain injuries.
- Men are more likely to sustain a TBI than women and account for 74% of TBI fatalities.
Even a mild TBI is a significant injury with potentially chronic side-effects. Anyone who has been in a car accident, fallen and hit their head, or received a violent blow or jolt could be suffering from a traumatic brain injury. After an accident when adrenalin is still high a person may say they feel fine and appear to be uninjured even though they have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Here are ten questions to help determine if they need to seek immediate medical attention.
#1 Was There a Loss of Consciousness?
Even a brief loss of consciousness is genuinely concerning. Often a TBI victim will be unable to clearly recall events shortly before or after the accident or event. Any noticeable period of unconsciousness is a red flag.
#2 Does the Traumatic Brain Injury Victim Seem Dazed?
TBI victims can often appear stunned or dazed. They may answer questions slowly or be confused about the details of the accident. They may forget instructions or ask the same question repeatedly. Memory loss is common, and a victim with a TBI may have trouble remembering the day of the week or the time of day.
#3 Any Visible Signs of Impaired Motor Skills?
Motor impairment can take several forms. The victim may stumble, appear clumsy, or move slowly. They could have problems speaking clearly or with the slurring of words. Extremities may feel weak or have a feeling of tingling or numbness. They may have trouble coordinating movement with their hands or feet.
#4 Is the TBI Victim Experiencing Nausea or Vomiting?
Sudden unexplained nausea or vomiting can be a common sign of a traumatic brain injury. The bout of nausea may not appear right away, but may suddenly come on minutes, hours, or even days after the accident. It could appear as a vague feeling of nausea or the sudden need to vomit.
#5 Are There Reports by the Victim of Sensory Problems?
Sensory problems can manifest in several ways. A ringing in the ears or blurred vision is common. A strange or unexpected taste in the mouth or changes to ability to smell is also a sign. A sudden change in the victim’s sensitivity to light or sound is also concerning.
#6 Do Family/Friends Observe Unusual Behavior Changes?
Behavioral changes can manifest in a wide range of conduct. Irritability or combativeness that is out of character is a sign, often accompanied by excessive nervousness or anxiety. The medical community has linked traumatic brain injuries to obsessive compulsive behavior as well as conduct considered as risk-taking. The victim often is unaware the new conduct is out of character.
#7 Have Sleeping Habits Dramatically Changed?
Changes to sleeping habits can come in several forms. Someone who was a morning person now sleeping till the afternoon or keeping irregular hours could be a sign. Difficulty in getting a good night sleep or sleeping more than usual is a something to bring up to the doctor.
#8 Is the Victim Experiencing Changes to Their Mood or Emotions?
Victims of TBI often report not ‘feeling like themselves’ or a having ‘down’ feeling. Depression is a problem for many suffering from traumatic bring injury. Sudden or dramatic mood swings marked by excessive emotions can also be of concern.
#9 Any Physical Signs of Injury in the TBI Victim?
Often a traumatic brain injury may have no outward symptoms. In more severe cases there could be physical signs of an injury. Clear fluid leaking from nose or ears, seizures, or dilation of one or both pupils is a sign of a severe traumatic brain injury.
#10 What About Symptoms in Young Children?
Younger children may not be able to express their potential symptoms as clearly as adults, making it more difficult to diagnose for doctors. Children under 4 years of age are at increased risk for traumatic brain injuries from blows to the head. Look for these warning signs that they may have a TBI.
- Changes to nursing or eating routines
- Out of character irritability
- Inconsolable or persistent crying
- Sudden change in ability to pay attention
- Changes to sleep habits
- Excessive drowsiness
In these matters it is important err on the side of caution. If you or a loved one displays any of the symptoms above after an accident or blow to the head seek professional medical advice right away.
Litigating Traumatic Brain Injuries in Nebraska
Traumatic brain injuries can be tricky to diagnose. Often a normal x-ray, CT scan, or MRI cannot see any evidence of a TBI unless it is severe or has extensive physical injuries. Serious cases of TBI routinely result in large settlements due to the chronic nature of the injuries. Milder instances of TBI can be more difficult to litigate. The lengthy list of potential symptoms with little in the way direct evidence of what is causing the side-effects, makes treatment more complicated than most disorders. For these same reasons litigating a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury following a car crash can present its own unique challenges. Without a photograph or medical image that clearly shows the injury for a jury to see the burden falls on the attorney to coordinate sufficient alternative evidence to support the claim. How to build a cohesive case can be as much art as science. Juries are after all lay people who must decide a case even when the bulk of the direct evidence is technical in nature. Having an experienced attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injuries is the only way to ensure you are getting the maximum settlement for you and your family.
The Advocates are experts at representing victims of traumatic brain injuries. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients across the Western United States. Our dedication to our clients sets us apart from other law firms. Let us deal with hospital bills, claims adjusters, and insurance companies so you can fully focus on your recovery. Call today for a free consultation. An attorney from The Advocates is standing by discuss your case. You can contact our office by calling (402) 275-6980, fill out the form below, or chat with us on our homepage. You deserve an Advocate!
Speak with an Advocate Today