Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery and Prognosis
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs as a result of either a severe blow to your head or an impact on your body that jolts the brain. A TBI can have both immediate and lasting physical and psychological effects. In some cases, you may not know that you have an injury until weeks, months, or even years after your accident. Therefore, if you have suffered head trauma, seek medical care immediately.
Once you have received the medical care you require, a brain injury allows you to sue the negligent party for your injuries.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury vary from mild to severe and may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent headaches
- Vomiting or nausea
- Constant fatigue
- Slurred speech
- Hypersomnia or insomnia
- Imbalance or feeling dizzy
- Short or long-term memory loss
- Sensory overload (sight, sound)
You may also experience depression, anxiety, mood swings, convulsions or seizures, loss of coordination, or go through states of disorientation. The most severe cases of TBI can result in hospitalization, coma, paralysis, or death.
Symptoms can occur years after the initial trauma. So, if you experience physical or psychological issues for no apparent reason, you may have delayed symptoms from a head trauma that you suffered several years ago.
Prognosis for Traumatic Brain Injury
When you are admitted to the hospital following brain trauma, doctors will stabilize you and monitor you to make sure your bodily functions are still working. They will perform numerous tests to diagnose your medical condition and determine what type of treatment you require.
It is important to remember that your immediate treatment does not always reflect the severity of your prognosis. For instance, two patients may receive the same prognosis. However, one patient receives outpatient care and the other undergoes intensive surgery. Therefore, you could walk out of the hospital thinking that everything is fine. Years later however, your symptoms may appear.
Four leading indicators help medical specialists develop a prognosis, including:
- Your Age
As you get older, signs of a previous traumatic brain injury may develop. Also, an older person may not be as able as someone younger to recover from a TBI.
- Glasgow Coma Scale
Doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale to evaluate the effects of your injury. This involves observing your level of consciousness to determine the severity of your injury.
- Where Your Injury Occurred
Where the injury occurred on the brain impacts other areas of your body. As a result, you may have limited motor skills or develop mental disorders.
- The Duration of Your Unconsciousness
The length of time you spend unconscious or in a coma can affect your prognosis and recovery, including if and how long it takes you to heal fully.
Recovering from Your Traumatic Brain Symptoms
If you or a loved one suffer from a traumatic brain injury, it is essential that you understand what is involved in your recovery and treatment. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can last a few hours to several years. Some victims never recover and have to live with some type of disability.
When you regain consciousness from your injury, you may be confused and a bit agitated at first. You may struggle with your thinking skills or memory. You may not even remember what happened to you. However, in time, you may regain your brain function and motor skills. A therapist or other medical specialist may work with you throughout your recovery period.
Your doctors may not be able to predict the long-term outcome of your injury. The extent of your recovery depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injury
- The part of your brain that suffered damage
- The length and quality of care you receive
- Whether you continue rehab after your initial care
- Support from medical specialists
Filing a Lawsuit for Your Traumatic Brain Injury
If someone else is responsible for your brain injury, you may be entitled to a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover your damages. A TBI lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and represent you during litigation and your recovery.
Your prognosis and other damages that you incur may determine what you are eligible to claim and the total value of your case. Damages may include:
Hospitalization and Ongoing Treatment
As the victim of head trauma, you may incur a wide range of medical expenses such as:
- Hospitalization and medical procedures
- Ongoing examinations to determine the extent of the damage
- Long-term care in the hospital
- Physical and mental therapy or counseling
- Disability treatment and care
Lost Wages or Diminished Earning Capacity
You may not be able to return to work for several weeks or months, if ever. Or, you may have to find a job that does not pay as well as your previous job due to your disabilities. Therefore, you may be entitled to lost wages, benefits, retirement, or diminished earning capacity.
A traumatic brain injury can drastically alter your life in several ways. You may experience severe pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, or other physical or mental problems. You may also suffer diminished quality of life. In some cases, your relationships with family and friends will suffer as well.
Find Out More About Your Legal Rights After a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you are the victim of a traumatic brain injury in South Florida and someone else is responsible for your injuries, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. A brain injury lawyer can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. Call us today at 954-633-8270 for a free case review. We are here to help you protect your rights.