Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a very important and current topic in injury lawyer circles. Unfortunately, many people who suffer a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury go undiagnosed for some time after the car wreck or other accident which harmed them. Part of the reason for this delay in the medical recognition of the effects of closed head injury is that is most cases these kinds of injuries are not detected by the common hospital diagnostic equipment like CT scans and MRI’s. So a person can come into an emergency room and the doctor will not be able to realize at that point that the patient has a significant closed head injury which will ultimately be a permanent problem.
In our North Carolina personal injury practice, we often see that patients are not treated promptly for the physical and cognitive impairments from traumatic brain injury. It often takes a really good doctor who is paying attention to the sometimes subtle symptoms of memory problems, irritability or sensitivity to light which can be part of the constellation of symptoms from a brain injury. The difficulty is that the person often looks fairly normal. A lot of health care practitioners will simply chalk up depression, headaches or other symptoms to some other aspect of the injury or the person’s situation. It is often a confusing situation for the patient themselves as they may not realize what is going on with them. Many times we as caring and experienced lawyers find out by interviewing family members that the person who has been in an accident really needs to be worked up to determine if there has been a traumatic brain injury with permanent consequences. Our personal injury lawyers secured a $21 million settlement for child’s brain injury caused when a truck rear-ended a Virginia Beach family’s car.
The Neurological Clinic Journal reported that two million people are affected by a traumatic brain injury each year. About 300,000 of these injuries require hospitalization, with 100,000 incurring lasting disabilities and 60,000 dying from the injury.