Suffering any type of trauma to the head in a car accident can cause catastrophic injury and long-term limitations for many people. Car accidents often cause massive trauma to the body and head, which can result in traumatic brain injury or concussion. Do you know the difference between a traumatic brain injury and a concussion, and what to do about them following a car accident in Atlanta?
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs any time you suffer trauma to the head that results in injury. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury may include dizziness and disorientation at the time of the accident as well as ongoing symptoms like loss of focus and concentration, difficulty with creative problem-solving, and other cognitive difficulties, including a loss of impulse control.
Traumatic brain injury can range from minor, which may have symptoms that linger for a few days or weeks, to severe, with symptoms that linger for months or years after the accident. Some patients have symptoms for the rest of their lives.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head. Concussions can occur in Atlanta car accidents due to the force associated with the accident, as the victim’s head hits the back of the seat, the dashboard, or the steering wheel. A concussion is often described as a “mild” traumatic brain injury, since the symptoms of a concussion may not be as severe as they are in the case of severe traumatic brain injuries. However, concussions can still have serious repercussions for the injured party. The symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Neck pain
- Ears ringing
In addition, people with concussions may feel dazed and unable to focus. They may not feel like themselves, and may struggle to keep up with normal conversation or activities. People with severe concussion symptoms may have convulsions or seizures, or they may have a hard time waking up. Any time you have symptoms of a concussion, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury After a Car Accident
Patients suffering from traumatic brain injury may need immediate medical attention to help decrease the risk of further symptoms. Traumatic brain injury can cause a number of long-term complications. Receiving prompt treatment can allow immediate diagnosis of the severity of the condition.
Immediately after a traumatic brain injury, patients may need emergency medical care.That emergency care will focus on minimizing further trauma to the brain, which can be caused by swelling or bleeding on the brain. Care may also focus on ensuring that the patient receives adequate oxygen, which can help prevent further damage to the brain.
In some cases, treatment for traumatic brain injury may mean emergency surgery to relieve pressure in the brain. Surgeons may need to open the skull in order to figure out where bleeding is coming from and address it appropriately. In other cases, surgeons may need to alleviate pressure in the brain by opening up the skull to allow more room for swelling tissue.
In addition, doctors may use medications to help relieve swelling and pressure in the brain. Extreme swelling can cause considerable damage, which can, in many cases, have long-term consequences. Diuretics can help relieve some swelling, since they help lower fluid in the brain tissue. Other patients may be temporarily put into a coma, since the brain requires less oxygen to function while in a coma.
This emergency care can prove essential to later patient functioning, especially in the case of severe head trauma.
Often, patients who have suffered severe brain injuries will require rehabilitation services to help restore them to the highest possible level of functioning. Sometimes, the goal of rehabilitation is to get a patient back to normal following a brain injury. In other cases, patients with traumatic brain injuries may permanently lose some function. Those patients may need ongoing care.
The rehabilitation process often starts by working with an occupational therapist, who can support patients as they relearn how to accomplish daily living tasks. An occupational therapist may both help patients with TBI work through limitations and weakness as they relearn how to accomplish tasks and find workarounds for potential challenges. For example, an occupational therapist might help patients who cannot speak learn how to use assistive communication devices. For patients with memory challenges, the therapist might suggest apps that can help with memory, or labeling cabinets and drawers to make it easier to figure out what goes in each one.
The rehabilitation process can last for months following a traumatic brain injury. In many cases, it may prove very expensive.
Many patients with traumatic brain injury will need ongoing care. Some patients cannot be alone following their injuries. They may make impulsive decisions or struggle with reasoning and problem-solving, which can cause them to harm themselves or others. For some patients, ongoing care may mean living in a facility intended for people with severe injuries. For others, it may mean an in-home caregiver.
Seeking Compensation Following a Traumatic Brain Injury from an Atlanta Car Accident
If you suffered a brain injury in an Atlanta car accident, you may deserve compensation for those injuries. Compensation for a traumatic brain injury in an Atlanta car accident will usually include:
- Compensation for any medical expenses you faced due to your brain injury, including the cost of emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and long-term care
- Compensation for the wages you lost due to missing work following your accident
- Compensation for lost earning potential, if your accident caused you to permanently lose the ability to work in your former field
- Compensation for your suffering
At Cambre & Associates, we aim to help our clients pursue the full compensation they may deserve following a traumatic brain injury from an Atlanta car accident. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you as you move forward with your car accident claim.