Each year more than a million Americans suffer from brain injuries. The reason brain injuries have their own section is because a brain injury can occur in any type of accident. Whether it’s on a construction site, a fall on a sidewalk, or whether it’s the whiplash movement of the head and skull in a car accident, our brain is at all time’s susceptible to injury. We’ve all heard of the devastating effects that shaking a baby can have. Who we are as unique individuals is controlled by our brains and injury to the brain can have devastating effects. We’ve all heard the word Concussion and in recent years, thankfully, the medical profession and the world has had it brought to our attention the dangers possessed by Concussions. Now referred to as a “TBI”, a Traumatic Brain Injury can be defined as being a mild, moderate or severe TBI depending on the extent of the initial damage to the brain and the initial diagnosis.
A “TBI” refers to damage or injury to the brain, depending on the severity. A TBI is divided into three main classifications: mild, moderate or severe. A mild TBI can have minimal or no loss of consciousness such as a whiplash injury. A moderate TBI can involve a loss of consciousness such as a fall or blow to the head. A severe TBI may involve a more significant consciousness where for example a person may have to be induced into a coma to reduce pressure on the brain.
The astounding fact and the sad reality is that one can have severe, disabling and lifelong impairments in cognitive brain function without any loss of consciousness. Therefore, in essence a Mild traumatic brain injury doesn’t automatically mean that the effects of the brain injury are mild. These classifications only refer to how the person seems right after the trauma; not how they end up. Just as the brain controls who we are in our own unique way, the response from our brains to injury differs from a person and is just as unique.
The most difficult issue at times can be diagnosing a brain injury. Generally in the ER they will send you for an X-ray or a CT scan but all those tests will show is whether there has been any fracture, brain bleed, also known as a subdural hematoma or tumor. Those tests, however, do not show if there has been any damage done to the nerve cells or what’s known as the neurons in our brain. There is said to be over 100 billion neurons in our brain and these neurons are connected to each other by axons. The connection of these neurons is what allows us to think, move, act and function and simply be the unique individuals that we are. Damage to the neurons cannot be identified or confirmed by a CT scan, an X-ray and even by the standard 1.5 MRI’s. It’s because of this that diagnosing and confirming a brain injury can be so difficult. There has been advances in medicine and testing in recent years with the development and introduction of the 3T DTI (Diffuse Tensor Imaging) MRI which is a more advanced neuroimaging technique used to estimate the location and direction of the white matter tract (white matter being the axons that connect the nerve cells) in our brains.
In diagnosing brain injuries, one of the most important things to do is to simply speak to the friends, relatives and loved ones who knew the brain-injured person before the accident and have known him since the accident because it’s those people who are in the best position to confirm if the person has in fact suffered a brain injury. The old adage, “never judge a book by its cover” has never been more appropriate to an area because a person may look 100%, may speak as before, walk the same but the way they think, feel and act can tell a completely different story. Having to be told the same thing over and over, forgetting more than what is usual or normal, acting more agitated than usual and reacting with uncontrollable anger or impulsively are just some of the examples of someone who may have suffered a brain injury.
You want a brain injury attorney who will do more than the usual lawyer when your case comes in. You want a lawyer versed in the intricacies involved in brain injury cases. You want a lawyer who knows what to look for, what to ask, who to ask and crucially you want a lawyer who knows what type of medical evaluations need to be done and what type of medical professionals you need to see in order to correctly evaluate and hopefully treat your brain injury and ultimately prove your brain injury should you bring a lawsuit. You want The Brain Injury attorneys’ at The Law Office of Darren T. Moore P.C.