Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are rampant in the US, affecting approximately one million people annually. They have life-changing and lifelong repercussions, from physical to cognitive and emotional impairments. Also, TBIs are a prominent cause of disability, with 5.3 million people living with a TBI-related injury.
Getting adequate medical treatment is paramount if you sustain a TBI from an auto crash, fall, or sports accident. Working with a TBI lawyer to establish the full extent of your injuries and determining the appropriate damages to be claimed should be the next critical step. Recovery from a TBI depends on the injury’s severity. The tips below could help ease some burden and provide much-needed clarity during this challenging time.
The first and most crucial step to a speedy recovery after a TBI is receiving a physical and cognitive examination to ascertain your injury’s severity and develop a treatment plan. While some brain injury symptoms show immediately, others take time. Also, prompt discovery and treatment are vital in some TBIs; the longer it takes to seek treatment, the worse they become.
Typically, medical practitioners use the TBI Model Systems (TBIMS) to determine the presence and severity of a TBI. They look for symptoms like loss of consciousness, amnesia, skull fracture, and post-traumatic seizure.
Brain scans are essential in establishing the severity of injury or extent of brain tissue damage. CT scans identify swelling, blood clots, and bruises in the brain. The number of scans varies with the degree of injury, and an MRI can also be done.
After a TBI, rehabilitation is a crucial part of recovery, helping you overcome the effects of injury. It also treats physical and emotional issues emanating from TBI and improves the quality of life for patients. Rehab lessens the probability of TBI-related complications like blood clots, blood pressure fluctuations, breathing problems, muscle spasms, and bowel and bladder issues.
Rehabilitation is not a one-size-fits-all and depends on a patient’s unique needs. It may include occupational, speech, and physical therapy, psychological care, and social support. Physical therapy, for instance, promotes strength, coordination, and flexibility while increasing blood flow to the brain. A care team examines your physical and mental condition for the best rehab therapy.
Many TBI patients wonder how long rehab takes. There’s no definitive answer to this question, and the duration depends on brain damage severity and how well the patient responds to therapy. Some people need therapy for a few weeks or months, while others require lifetime care.
Consult with a Brain Injury Lawyer
After getting the necessary treatment and rehabilitation, contact a reputable brain injury lawyer for legal advice. If another party’s negligence led to your TBI, you are eligible for compensation for damages incurred, including medical costs, rehabilitation, lost wages, and mental anguish.
Financial compensation goes a long way to fostering recovery because you get medical treatment without financial strain and concentrate on recovery. Since the brain is a delicate organ, treating TBI can be costly. Initial treatment may cost $400,000, while lifelong medical costs can reach $3 million.
An experienced lawyer ensures you get adequate compensation for your injuries and navigate the complex legal process. They consult with medics to understand your medical situation and short- and long-term needs. Also, the lawyer values your claim and negotiates a settlement with the defendant and the insurance company. If needed, the lawyer presents your case for trial.
Resume Daily Activities Gradually
When a healthcare professional clears you to resume daily activities, it is advisable to do it gradually, not at once. Regarding returning to work, talk to your employer about temporary adjustments such as working from home, half-days, and changing work activities until you recover.
Here are a few recovery tips as you resume normal activities:
- Keep off physically demanding activities like working out and weight lighting –they slow recovery
- Avoid alcoholic beverages
- Prioritize self-care activities like healthy eating and getting adequate rest and sleep
- Refrain from extended computer use
- Get clearance to drive or operate heavy equipment
- Don’t use over-the-counter drugs –only take the meds your healthcare professional approves
- Watch out for returning and worsening symptoms
TBI affects the brain’s functionality, with many people experiencing life-long and long-term physical, emotional, and mental impairments. Also, they are expensive to treat, requiring a trained lawyer to negotiate compensation to cater for medical costs and other damages.