One of the most misunderstood injuries a person can sustain is a traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI. TBIs can range from mild (with only short-term effects) to severe (with long-term or even fatal effects). The most common type of TBI is a concussion that is often seen in athletes competing in high-contact sports, and individuals who suffered a short fall or blow to the head. However, TBIs cover everything from blunt-force trauma all the way to sharp-force penetrating injuries.
Approximately 2.5 million Americans are affected by TBIs every year, with over 50,000 of those TBIs leading to death.
So, how do you know if you’ve experienced a TBI? If you have suffered a blow to the head in any way (car or motorcycle wreck, fall, hit with an object, etc.) and lost consciousness for any amount of time, you’ve probably experienced a TBI. Even if you didn’t lose consciousness, if you’ve experienced headaches, memory loss, changes in behavior or sleep patterns, an inability to control your emotions, or a decrease in your ability to process and understand information, you’ve probably experienced a TBI.
What should you do if you think you’ve suffered a TBI? The first thing you should do is contact your primary care physician and get examined by a neurologist or neuropsychologist. Until you’ve been properly evaluated by a medical professional, there is no way to know for sure what kind of health risk your potential TBI poses. If you were treated in the emergency room following the impact with your head, you may have CT scans, X-Rays, PET scans, or other radiological tests that you can show to your doctor to give them a better understanding of your specific injury. The most important thing is always to ensure your personal health; any potential legal claim related to the injury can be handled after your doctor has made you well.
As always, feel free to contact the Bailey & Oliver law firm with any legal questions related to a TBI either you or a loved one have suffered.