March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, and it is recognized by many brain injury organizations to raise awareness of traumatic brain injury (TBI). March 18, 2015 has been set as Brain Injury Awareness Day.
Approximately 2.4 million children and adults in the United States sustain a traumatic brain injury due to traumatic events such as car accidents, sports accidents, fall down accidents, etc., according to the Brain Injury Association of America.
As personal injury lawyers, we have helped many injured individuals who suffer traumatic brain injuries after a catastrophic car accident, a bicycle accident, a sports accident, or a fall accident in PA and NJ. In recognition of National Brain Injury Awareness Month, we will provide a series of articles that discuss traumatic brain injuries through traumatic brain injury cases we’ve handled in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Symptoms of TBI generally fall into 4 categories:
People with TBI may have a hard time thinking clearly. They may also have a hard time concentrating and/or remembering new information. They often feel “slowed” down.
Physical symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may include:
Individuals with a traumatic brain injury often exhibit emotional symptoms. They may be easily irritable, sad or mad. They may be more emotional. They may also experience nervousness or anxiety.
Lastly, their sleep patterns may also be affected. Some may sleep more than usual. Some may sleep less than usual, and some simply have trouble falling asleep.
It may often be difficult to recognize the signs/symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. One of the reasons is that some of these symptoms are common ailments in healthy individuals, such as headaches and fatigue. In addition, some of the symptoms do not surface until weeks or even months after the traumatic accident. Another reason is that some symptoms do not manifest until the individuals return to their everyday life.
Consider the following: A bicyclist riding in Center City Philadelphia is hit by a car from behind because the driver was trying to pass the cyclist. As a result of the collision, the bicyclist is thrown forward off his bike and hits his head on the pavement. He loses consciousness and is transported to a hospital. The CAT scans does not show any visible damage to his brain, but he is diagnosed with a concussion. He has a headache, feels nauseous and does not feel right. He is discharged from the hospital, told to rest and follow-up with a family doctor.
After a few days, he feels better and his headaches subside. He doesn’t feel nauseous and decides to return to work. However, he has difficulty performing his job duties. He has a hard time concentrating, and his headaches come back.
When he gets home from work, he feels fatigued and can’t do anything. His wife notices that he is very irritable. They both decide that maybe he just had a bad day because it’s his first day back at work. After all, many people have headaches or feel tired after a long work day or if they have a bad day at work.
However, several weeks go by and his symptoms only get worse. His headaches get worse, and he now has a hard time falling asleep. He finally decides to go see a doctor and is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
As one can see from this example, it may be hard to know when you or a loved one has a traumatic brain injury. Many of the symptoms are experienced by healthy people.
Therefore, it is important for individuals who suffer a head injury to be mindful of their symptoms and how they feel days and weeks after the accident. It is even more important for the family members to watch for these symptoms. It is important to seek proper treatment from a doctor after a traumatic brain injury.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an accident caused by someone else, you may have legal rights. Call 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation with Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq.