As any Atlanta personal injury lawyer knows, traumatic brain injuries can result from several types of incidents including falls, workplace accidents, and car crashes. They occur when an object penetrates the brain tissue or an individual suffers a major jolt or blow to the head or body. These injuries can range from mild to severe.
Mild TBIs may only affect the brain temporarily but severe damage can lead to long-term complications. Accident victims who suffer trauma to the brain are often eligible for a significant amount of compensation. If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI, you may want to know more about this condition. This blog post will address some of the basics surrounding diagnosis and treatment, and how to contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to help with compensation.
Diagnosing a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs must be detected and treated quickly or they can rapidly worsen. If you were involved in a car crash, you need to see a doctor immediately to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. One of the tests the doctor will rely on is likely to be the Glasgow Coma Scale which measures consciousness.
The 15-point test is used to assess the severity of a brain injury based on the patient’s ability to move their eyes and limbs and follow directions. The test also measures whether the individual’s speech is coherent. The scale runs from 3 to 15 and the higher the number, the less severe the injury.
Doctors and emergency medical personnel will also ask a number of questions to help them determine the severity of a TBI. These include:
- How did the individual get injured?
- Where were they struck?
- Was their body jolted or whipped around?
- How much force was involved in the incident?
- Did the victim lose consciousness and if so, for how long?
- Did the individual display changes in coordination, alertness or speech?
The doctor will also run imaging tests to get a detailed look at the injuries. The first test is likely to be a computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test can reveal fractures as well as evidence of bleeding, blood clots, bruised tissue, and swelling. If the individual’s symptoms don’t improve quickly or further investigation is needed after they stabilize, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test may be conducted.
Since swelling can increase the pressure inside the skull and lead to further brain damage, doctors may insert an intracranial pressure monitor into the skull to keep an eye on things. Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will use these test results and other medical records to support your claim for compensation.
Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer typically knows that the severity of the injury will determine how doctors choose to treat it. Mild TBIs often don’t require anything but rest and over-the-counter pain meds. However, the victim will need to be closely monitored in case they develop new symptoms or their condition worsens. The doctor may advise them to avoid strenuous physical and mental activities for a while.
If the injury is moderate or severe, the approach is much different. Doctors focus on preventing further injury to the head and neck and making sure the victim is getting enough oxygen and blood. People with severe head injuries may also need to be treated for other conditions. Medical personnel will work to limit the harm caused by inflammation or excessive bleeding.
Medication can be administered to reduce secondary damage to the brain right after the injury. This may include:
- Anti-seizure drugs. People with moderate to severe TBIs are at risk of experiencing seizures in the first week following the injury.
- Diuretics. These help to reduce pressure in the brain.
- Coma-inducing drugs. If an individual’s blood vessels can’t supply their brain cells with the nutrients and oxygen they need, doctors may induce a coma temporarily, so the brain needs less oxygen to function.
Some TBI victims may also have to undergo surgery to minimize further damage. Surgeons may need to repair skull fractures, drain excess cerebral spinal fluid, remove blood clots, or stop bleeding in the brain.
People who suffer serious brain injuries usually need rehabilitation in order to perform regular activities like walking and talking. Depending on the part of the brain that was injured and how severe the injury was, rehab can take a long time. The victim may not be able to work during this time and their losses are likely to be substantial. That’s where your Atlanta personal injury lawyer comes in.
Contact the Calvin Smith Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s actions, you deserve to be compensated. Call our Atlanta personal injury lawyer today to get sound legal advice and representation.