As attorneys who frequently see people seriously injured in car accidents, my Chicago colleague Jonathan Rosenfeld and I lament how many physicians are still slow to diagnose brain brain injuries. Consequently, we see many clients who have unknowingly sustained various types of closed head injuries in car accidents involving all types of impacts. Below Jonathan shares some of his experiences with these particularly cruel injuries.
The brain is the most important organ in the human body while also being one of the most fragile parts of the body as well. Mother Nature offered us protection in the form of a thick skull that would act as a barrier between our fragile brain matter and the outside world. However, due to the high impact of most car accidents, that protective measure given to us through biology can also cause complications that result in traumatic brain injury that we are often unaware of initially after an accident. If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident in the greater Chicago area, you may want to consult a Chicago car accident lawyer (http://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/practice/motor-vehicle-accidents/car-accidents/) to see if you are owed compensation.
Most traumatic brain injuries are not immediately identifiable because the symptoms may not show themselves immediately after a car accident. Paramedics are trained to provide medical care to those involved in an accident regardless of how they actually feel due to the possibility of brain injuries that remain asymptomatic. Oftentimes, when a person’s body comes to a sudden halt during a car accident, the brain continues moving and bounces around inside of the skull. Many injuries in which the skull is fractured are far less severe than those with no damage to the skull due to the buildup of pressure that occurs inside of the brain when it is bruised and swelling.
If you are in a car accident, you should never assume that you are not in need of medical care simply because you are not exhibiting symptoms. Traumatic brain injuries develop over time as the brain tissue that has been affected by an impact swells and bleeds. Because there is nowhere for the blood to go in the brain, the bleeding makes the situation worse by creating pressure to surrounding brain tissue. In its mildest form, this type of injury is referred to as a concussion.
Signs of brain injuries
If you have sustained a concussion, you may or may not exhibit immediate symptoms. Some of the signs of a concussion are the loss of consciousness during the accident for any time period ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. You do not need to lose consciousness to sustain a concussion and if you feel disorientated, confused, tired or dizzy, you may have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Over time, you may experience blurred vision, nausea, severe headaches, migraines or a deep state of fatigue.
Signs of more serious trauma to the brain include the loss of consciousness for greater periods of time, inability to awake once asleep, slurred speech, seizures and loss of bowel control. In order to prevent the onset of more serious symptoms, make sure to receive proper medical treatment after you have been involved in any kind of car accident, regardless of how severe. You can sustain trauma to the brain even if you were not going very fast before the impact.
Diagnosing Brain Injuries
Not all brain imaging scans will detect traumatic brain injuries but there are several important brain imaging tests that will identify what others cannot. The most common brain image scans are CT, or CAT scans and MRIs. Neither of these scans will detect the existence of a traumatic brain injury due to the fact that most traumatic brain injuries involve very subtle damage to tissue as well as chemical changes that occur in the brain in response to the injury. DTI, PET and SPECT scans are all more effective in diagnosing a traumatic brain injury, but none of these scans will ultimately change the medical treatment that is prescribed.
Not all of the effects of brain damage are reversible and some people who sustain traumatic brain injuries will never be the same again. Brain injuries can affect motor function, the ability to concentrate, speech, memory and other functions that most of us take for granted. It is for this reason that it is important to diagnose a traumatic brain injury as quickly as possible in order to prevent future complications.
If you have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident and live in the greater Chicago area, you may wish to consult with a Chicago car accident lawyer to discuss whether or not you are owed compensation for your injury. Jonathan Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (http://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers) is an injury lawyer who has experience representing clients involved in motor accidents and who have had their lives changed by a debilitating injury such as a traumatic brain injury (http://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/practice/personal-injury/injury-types/traumatic-brain-injury-tbi/)