How Do You Prove Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can alter your life significantly. It could even impact your health in a way that prevents you from continuing to work. If you can maintain employment, though, it may be at a reduced capacity. The level of care that you require could be expensive and time-consuming.
Oftentimes, traumatic brain injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, which qualifies you to receive compensation. For you to qualify for this restitution, it must be established that you have experienced a TBI.
What is involved in proving that you have a traumatic brain injury? On this page, we will outline pertinent information involved in this process.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
To better understand what a traumatic brain injury is, you should learn a little about what surrounds the brain – specifically, the cranial bone, which is often referred to as the skull. The human skull is one of the more solid and hardened naturally developed objects in nature. As such, it provides crucial protection to the brain.
Yet, the skull can still be damaged. An intense and violent blow or a sudden jerk of the head can cause damage and injury to the skull itself or to the brain within.
Brain tissue can also be damaged by a penetrating object. A common example of this would be something like a bullet.
The brain tissue might also get damaged by the skull itself. When the skull is hit forcefully by an object, it could crack or shatter. The shattered or cracked portions of the skull could then cut the brain.
The resulting injury to the brain can be mild, moderate, or severe. When the case is mild, the patient’s brain cells may be affected for a limited amount of time. On the other hand, a serious traumatic brain injury can cause permanent health complications and even death.
Serious TBIs include:
- Bruises to the brain
- Brain bleeding
- Torn brain tissue
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury can come from a variety of causes. These causes could be a jolt, a hit, or a fall. Likewise, the symptoms can also vary.
However, common symptoms of a TBI can include:
- A headache that progressively worsens and persists
- Loss of consciousness that can last for a few seconds or minutes
- Frequent vomiting
- Recurrent nausea
- Unable to awaken from sleep by oneself
- Slurred speech
- Body weakness
- Numbness in the extremities, such as arms and legs
- Loss of balance
- Heightened sensitivity to light and sound
- Cognitive difficulties
Of course, there are other symptoms, besides the ones cited above, that can affect someone with a TBI. Additionally, some symptoms are not apparent immediately but may take days or weeks to develop.
It is of the utmost importance to have yourself examined by a medical professional after a head injury. Do not needlessly wait. It is in the best interest of your health and legal pursuits to visit a doctor right away after sustaining a head injury.
How is a Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?
Upon arrival at an emergency room, doctors will attempt to ascertain all available information regarding a head injury. Medical personnel will inquire about the symptoms and need an explanation of what caused the head injury.
It is the goal of doctors to learn the full scope of the injury as quickly as possible. They may perform several tests to diagnose a TBI, from the Glasgow Coma Score to different imaging tests.
What is the Glasgow Coma Score?
Doctors will make use of the Glasgow Coma Score (GCS). This is a test using a 15-point system to determine the level of consciousness of the injured patient. This test will evaluate an injured person’s capabilities in moving his or her limbs and eyes. The exam will also assess the patient’s ability to understand and follow directions and analyze the patient’s ability to produce coherent speech.
In the various portions of the exam, a person’s abilities are scored on a point system from three to fifteen. The lower the score, the more severe the head injury. Conversely, the higher the score implies injuries of a less severe nature.
A score of 13-15 is considered a mild TBI. A patient who achieves points between 9 to 12 is evaluated as moderate. Lastly, a score of 8 or less is determined to be a severe TBI.
What imaging tests may be used to diagnose a TBI?
Imaging tests allow doctors to see detailed pictures of specific areas within the body. In the case of a head injury, the doctors will make use of an imaging test focused on the head. The most popular imaging tests used in diagnosing traumatic head injuries are the following.
Computed tomography (CT)
A computed tomography (CT) scan is an X-ray that can create detailed images of the anatomical structures located in the brain. In order to quickly locate fractures, a CT scan is taken of the head as soon as possible after the time of injury.
In the CT image, dangers such as bleeding in the brain and blood clots (hematomas) can be identified. Additionally, during the recovery process, CT scans can be used again to help determine the condition of the injury and whether the injury is healing or degrading.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
This is another noninvasive test. It employs a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to obtain a detailed view of the soft tissues of the brain. An MRI does not use X-rays or other forms of radiation. Thus, it is the preferred imaging test when a traumatic brain injury victim requires frequent imaging to monitor recovery.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
This scan can be used to aid a doctor in forming a prognosis of the patient’s potential to recover. The MRS gives information about the metabolic condition of the brain.
Using the above-mentioned testing, doctors can ascertain the true condition of the injury. A doctor can thus devise a plan of action and treatment to help the victim recover. Further, these tests can assist in monitoring the progress of the patient during recovery.
The documented findings and conclusions reached by medical personnel through these tests can be used to prove that you have a traumatic brain injury. This is important data that can be used in the process of helping you recover compensation after an accident and subsequent injuries.
Contact Attorneys Who Can Help You Prove Your TBI
Showing that you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury and proving your condition’s severity are crucial steps to your receiving just compensation. And getting compensation is sure to help you in your recovery, by covering your medical bills and giving you peace of mind.
So don’t leave your financial recovery to chance. The attorneys of Phillips Law Group can help you in taking the necessary steps to prove your TBI. This will give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you are entitled to receive for your suffering and recovery.
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