How do you know when you have a traumatic brain injury?

Updated on July 20, 2020

According to The Center for Disease Control, nearly 2 million people in the United States suffer a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. 

The leading cause of traumatic brain injuries is falls. It is sometimes negligence that leads to TBI, and it is why it’s important to prove you have a TBI. Regardless of fault, if someone suspects traumatic brain injury, it is critical to seek prompt medical attention.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury affects everyone differently. It can have an impact on motor and cognitive function. 

Tracking symptoms can save lives. A victim of traumatic brain injury displays different signs of TBI. Failing to recognize the symptoms and signs can lead to long-lasting complications and even death.

People need to be aware that some symptoms do not happen for hours or even days and can experience one or more of the symptoms.

Examples of symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Memory lapses or loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Loss of balance
  • Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Slurred or loss of speech
  • Sudden depression or anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Persistent or severe headaches
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of sensation in fingers or toes
  • Sudden change in behavior

The Causes of Brain Injuries

Many incidents of TBI stem from significant blows to the head, such as a fall or a sports injury.  However, someone can sustain traumatic brain injury without physical contact. For example, car accidents cause whiplash that can lead to TBI and other serious complications.

The causes of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Bike accidents
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Assault
  • Impact with objects

In many causes of TBI, it happens at work or at the hands of another person. The victim has the right to seek and recover damages from the negligent party. It is why it is best practice to document every step of the process.

Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

Even in the case of a suspected TBI, the victim should seek the treatment of a health care provider as soon as possible. 

A medical professional will start the evaluation by asking for details such as:

  • What led to the injury?
  • What is the point of injury?
  • Did the victim lose consciousness? If so, for how long?
  • What symptoms is the person experiencing?

Be sure to tell the doctor about any medications or illicit substances that have been taken. In the case of accidents due to negligence, give the medical provider all the information about how, where, and when the accident occurred. 

The next step a healthcare provider will perform is a battery of simple tests to diagnose a traumatic brain injury. They measure cognitive function and the severity of the trauma. 

If a doctor suspects a severe brain injury, they will perform more in-depth evaluations. For example, CT scans and MRIs help a medical provider get a bigger picture of how bad an injury is. The imaging shows hemorrhages, blood clots, and injuries to the brain. 

The Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

The most common traumatic brain injury is a mild concussion and might only require at-home observation. However, in some cases, it takes months to recover from some TBI. The more acute cases require long term hospitalization. The most extreme instances can be fatal.

Medication, surgery, and rehab are the approaches a doctor may take in the case of a TBI. It is vital to keep records of every step taken to treat a traumatic brain injury. 

Negligence and Traumatic Brain Injury

Many cases of TBI are the result of another’s negligence. Negligence is the failure to take proper safety measures or use reasonable care. 

A victim of TBI caused by a person or company’s carelessness has the right to seek and recover medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

The seriousness of the injuries does not matter. In the cases of fatal accidents, the family of the victim can seek the same compensation. 

Employees of a company that suffer an accident at work and suffer a TBI are eligible for worker’s compensation. In some cases, they have the right to seek further damages. 

Accidents that happen at work include:

  • Falling from heights such as from ladders, scaffolding, and stairs
  • Vehicle accidents while on the job
  • Accidents on forklifts or other heavy machinery
  • The impact of falling objects
  • Other common accidents that result in traumatic brain injury

Everyone knows that accidents happen. But, when it is due to another’s negligence, specific steps need to be taken. It is in the best interest of the victim and their family to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.