Have You Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury from an Accident?
Studies show that people who suffer from traumatic brain injury have an increased risk for dementia.
One study recently showed that people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, like often occurs in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, are at a much higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The study researched 2.8 million patient records and found that those who had suffered a head injury had a 24% increased risk of dementia than their counterparts who had not suffered such injuries.
A traumatic brain injury is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that resulted from a blow, jolt, or bump to the head, or a penetrating head injury. Some 50 million people worldwide suffer from such injuries every year.
Even a single, mild concussion increases the risk of dementia by 17%, and a full-blown single, severe traumatic brain injury can increase your odds by 35%. Additionally, people who suffer four or more brain injuries have a 61% increased chance, and those who suffer five or more could see an increase as high as 183%.
Age can Play a Factor
Not only do the amount of head injuries result in an increased risk, but the age at which a person suffers from the traumatic head injury could also affect the increased likelihood. People who suffer a brain injury in their 20s are 60% more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in their 50s.
This statistic is particularly startling because many of the people who suffer from head injuries sustain those injuries in their 20s or even younger. While not everyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury or concussion will develop dementia, the study is enough that the researchers hope that people will take a look at their lifestyles and alter other risk factors for dementia. Traumatic brain injuries alone, not even considering dementia, can result in paralysis, decreased quality of life, permanent brain damage, and even death.
What Accidents Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a variety of things, but most of them are caused by violent jerks of the neck, like whiplash, or a blow to the head. Brain and head injuries are often caused by the following:
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries can result in costly medical bills and other life-long disabilities and struggles. Filing a personal injury claim is a way to get the compensation that you are entitled to if you have been the victim of such injuries.
In Texas, damages are divided into two categories – general and special. They can include medical expenses, loss of income, property damages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional trauma.
Stephen G. Nagle has over three decades of experience helping victims of traumatic brain injuries. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and start the process to getting the compensation that you deserve.
Can I Sue for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Texas?
When brain injuries In Texas occur as the result of car crashes, on-the-job mishaps, or other type of accidents, those responsible can be held liable for your damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Brain injuries are among the most common and potentially debilitating type of personal injury. They can dramatically alter your personality, your memory, and your ability to interact with others. As a result, you may be unable to work and may require assistance in performing daily activities, putting stress on your finances and your relationships with others for years into the future. When brain injuries occur as the result of the reckless and negligent actions of others, you may be able to sue those involved for the damages you and your family members suffer.
Hold At-Fault Parties Responsible for Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur as the result of any type of bump, blow, or sudden jolt to the head. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are one of the most common types of personal injury in the U.S. and a leading cause of death and disability, impacting close to three million people each year. TBI often occurs as the result of accidents. Common causes include:
Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents;
Motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists;
Slips, trips, and falls;
Sports and recreational accidents;
Job related accidents;
Mishaps involving dangerous and defective products.
In all of the above situations, injuries often occur as the result of the negligent actions of others involved. When you suffer a brain injury as a result, the parties responsible can be held accountable either through an insurance claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensation in Brain Injury Cases
While an insurance settlement may cover some of the immediate costs related to your brain injury, it is unlikely to adequately compensate you for future expenses or for your ongoing pain and suffering. To ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to, a personal injury lawsuit is often your best option. Under Section 16.001 of the Texas Code, you have up to two years after your injuries to file a legal claim. Damages you may be able to sue for include:
Current and future medical expenses, such as for diagnostic testing, treatment, follow up care, medications, and physical therapy;
Lost wages, along with any future losses in earnings or benefits you would have otherwise received;
Non-economic damages, which cover the pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life you are your loved ones experience as the result of your accident and injuries;
Punitive damages, in cases where the at fault party’s conduct was particularly willful and reckless.
Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen G. Nagle is Here to Help
Brain injuries can significantly alter your life for years into the future. Before settling your claim for less than what you need or deserve, contact Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle first. He offers trusted guidance and professional legal representation to protect you in these types of situations. Request a consultation today.
Tests to Determine Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Medical providers can test for TBI and the severity of damage it causes using a variety of procedures.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious and potentially life threatening condition. Even a minor bump or blow can result in a brain injury that leaves the victim with permanent impairments. TBI testing has become more advanced in determining the parts of the brain impacted and the extent of the damage done. The following outlines some traditional testing doctors use to diagnose TBI, along with some of the latest developments in the field.
Testing for Traumatic Brain Injury
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) outlines a variety of tests that doctors use to diagnose TBI and to determine the level of brain or nerve functioning. Among these, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) provides a basic assessment of the person’s condition. It measures the ability to speak, to open the eyes, and to move, assigning a numerical score for each. Numbers of 13 or higher indicate a mild TBI, while a lower score indicates a more severe injury.
In addition to the GCS, imaging tests also play a key role in treating brain injuries, allowing doctors to see the exact areas affected and the extent of the damage. These include:
Computerized tomography (CT), which takes x-rays from different angles and can show internal bleeding or bruised brain tissue;
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnets and radio waves for more detailed images that are often helpful in follow up exams;
Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, which indicates when shunts or drainage tubes are needed to reduce swelling in the brain.
Other TBI tests focus on speech, language, and cognitive abilities. These evaluate the patient’s ability to communicate and the strength and coordination of the muscles that control speech. This can impact the patient’s ability to swallow and indicates whether feeding tubes or supplements are needed. Cognitive tests, which are usually administered over a number of hours by a neuropsychologist, evaluate the impacts a brain injury has on the person’s memory and ability to reason or make judgments. These often involve interviews with family members to uncover personality changes which occurred due to the brain injury.
Additional Testing For TBI
An additional, yet less common method of TBI testing listed by the NIH is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This uses water molecules to contrast with magnetic resonance images, and can help quantify the amount of damage directly attributed to the brain injury. This can be particularly helpful in personal injury lawsuits. While not routinely provided by doctors, it can be requested through your attorney.
An additional, less common method of TBI testing is Functional MRI (fMRI) which tests impact of an injury on particular areas of the brain. Thisese tests can be particularly helpful in personal injury lawsuits. While not routinely provided by doctors, it can be requested through your attorney.Another procedure which could hold promise is blood testing, which monitors protein levels in those with suspected brain injuries. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this procedure in early 2018, and claims it could help to ensure patients at risk get the additional testing and treatment they need.
Austin Brain Injury Attorney Stephen G. Nagle Is Here to Help
If you or someone you care about has suffered a brain injury as the result of another’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact Austin attorney Stephen G. Nagle. Request a consultation to discuss your options in seeking the compensation needed to recover from these injuries.
Traumatic brain injury: Advances in diagnosis
On behalf of Stephen G. Nagle & Associates posted in brain injuries on Thursday, February 2, 2017.
Although traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are well-known, medical professionals continue to struggle with a simple method of diagnosis. Diagnosis is important, as it can play a role in holding those who cause these injuries financially accountable.
What exactly is a TBI? A TBI is generally defined in the medical field as “an acute brain injury resulting from mechanical energy to the head from external forces with loss of consciousness less than 30 minutes, posttraumatic amnesia less than 24 hours, and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13-15 after 30 minutes post-injury or on presentation for healthcare.”
How are TBIs diagnosed? At this time, medical professionals generally use the definition above to determine if a patient has suffered a TBI. Additional research is underway to develop a more concrete form of diagnosis.
One such method, recently discussed in an article in Medscape, involves measuring a protein released in the brain during an injury. If the research proves successful, the protein could be measured instead of using head CT or brain MRIs to aid in diagnosis, both of which can result in exposure to potentially dangerous radiation.
How common are TBIs? TBIs are likely more common than reported, and reports are staggering. There are 1.7 million people in the United States that visit emergency departments, are hospitalized or die due to TBIs every single year.
This number is likely inaccurate, as an additional 30 to 45 percent of victims of these injuries are estimated to never seek treatment from a healthcare provider.
Why is diagnosis important? TBIs can result from a number of different accidents, including bicycle accidents, car crashes and construction accidents. Having a diagnosis can help hold others responsible when these accidents are the result of another person’s negligent or reckless actions.
TBIs can result in additional medical care, rehabilitation costs and other expenses. By holding responsible parties accountable for their actions, victims can receive monetary awards to help cover these costs and others associated with these injuries.