TBI is Linked to Higher Risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

As a Clearwater traumatic brain injury attorney, I am often retained to represent individuals who have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury or closed head trauma.  A traumatic brain injury is defined by medical practitioners as an injury to the brain as a result of trauma to the head.  An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. Of the 1.7 million individuals: there are 52,000 fatalities, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million, nearly 80% are treated and released from an emergency room. TBI is a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States. Approximately 75% of TBI’s that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury.

The first evidence of a causal link between traumatic brain injury and an increased risk for post-traumatic stress disorder has been illustrated by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study suggests that individuals who experience even as little as a mild traumatic brain injury face a higher risk for developing an anxiety disorder and should try to avoid stressful stimulus for awhile. Many individuals who experience head trauma following a car accident, may exhibit signs of PTSD. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 40% of people who suffer serious injury in a car accident display clinical signs of PTSD within a year of the crash. This is due largely to the fact that an accident is a major event that can result in catastrophic injuries or the loss of life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or witnessing a traumatic event, such as war, a hurricane, physical abuse, and of course a car accident. PTSD causes the individual to feel stress and manifest anxiety long after the danger has been removed. It affects both your quality of life and the people around you.

PTSD can result in difficulties like:

•    Flashbacks, or feeling like the event is happening again
•    Trouble sleeping or nightmares
•    Angry outbursts
•    Feeling worried, guilty or sad

Victims often present with symptom weeks, months or even several years after the incident. When left untreated, it can have devastating consequences on the sufferer and keep them from being able to function normally in life. It can also have dire effects on their relationships with their families, friends and co-workers. Treatments for PTSD and TBI should be symptom-focused and evidence based in concurrence with current practice guidelines. Early data suggests that treatments have worked well in Veterans with PTSD alone, such as cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure or SSRI’s.  Such treatments have also worked well for those who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury as well as emotional trauma. Memory aids can also be useful in this population. Patients can also benefit from occupational rehabilitation and case management, depending on the severity of their injuries. Patients should be referred to specialists, such as neurologists, neuropsychologists, and substance abuse or other specialized treatment as needed.

A traumatic brain injury can have a pronounced effect on your quality of life including the ability to interact with loved ones and friends as well as the ability to work. Please contact a Florida traumatic brain injury lawyer for a free, no obligation, and confidential evaluation of your case. As a Clearwater personal injury attorney, I consistently deal with insurance adjusters, Florida insurance defense lawyers and even physicians who are unfamiliar with the mechanisms behind a TBI and the relationship between a closed head injury and whiplash. Many practitioners are mistakenly under the assumption that the head must strike an object with force in order to sustain a closed head injury. It is essential to retain an attorney who is not only familiar with TBI’s but also the latest science in this rapidly evolving area of medicine.

Pinellas County Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Dolman Law Group is a Pinellas County personal injury law firm that routinely handles claims and litigates cases involving closed head injuries as a result of an automobile accident. We actively litigate auto accident and motorcycle accident related cases in Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Sarasota County, Manatee County and Pasco County. Located in central Pinellas County (Clearwater), Dolman Law Group is easily accessible to injury victims in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, New Port Richey, Pinellas Park, Largo and Kenneth City. Our satellite office in Bradenton is easily accessible to all consumers located in both Manatee and Sarasota County.

For more information on the relationship between a brain injury and an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, please contact: matt@dolmanlaw.com or call Dolman Law Group at: (727) 451-6900. Matthew A. Dolman, Esq., Christian Myer, Esq., and Bryan C. Hannan, Esq., are experienced and aggressive Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys who are often called upon by their colleagues to co-counsel head injury cases throughout the State of Florida.