When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an accident, that person’s first thoughts are understandably often focused on diagnosis and treatment. Eventually, however, injured parties may need to grapple with the fact that they will require ongoing treatment and TBI management. This can be expensive, which is why it is so important for accident victims to seek compensation for their losses from the at-fault parties who were responsible for their injuries.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when someone’s head suffers a sudden blow, which can cause the brain to crash against the insides of the skull, resulting in bruising, tissue damage, and potential bleeding. These kinds of injuries can also occur after a penetrating injury to the head, when an object (like a shard of one’s skull) actually pierces the brain itself. Like other types of injuries, TBIs can range in severity. A mild concussion, for instance, may heal after a few days of rest and observation, while a more serious trauma could result in a coma and necessitate emergency care or surgical intervention.
The kind of treatment that a person requires after suffering a TBI will depend on the severity and type of injury. A non-penetrating injury, for instance, may only require rest to heal, especially if the damage is relatively minor. A more severe impact, however, could cause swelling, which in turn will require surgical intervention to relieve that swelling and prevent permanent brain damage. Penetrating injuries also often require surgical treatment, as there is a much stronger likelihood of a brain bleed or hemorrhage. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are the type of injury that, even when treated, can result in permanent damage, thereby necessitating ongoing management.
Ongoing TBI Rehabilitation
Once an accident victim’s medical situation has stabilized, that person can start to focus on ongoing treatment and management. This may involve an attempt to regain function that was lost as a result of the injury. Some parts of the brain, when damaged, for instance, can cause problems with memory, speaking, and even walking. After emergency treatment, ongoing management of a TBI will include rehabilitation, which may require the assistance of:
- Psychiatrists, who can oversee the entire rehabilitation process, managing problems and prescribing medication as needed;
- Physical therapists, who can help TBI patients with mobility, balance, walking, and relearning movement patterns;
- Speech and language therapists, who can help patients improve their communication skills and if necessary, learn to use assistive communication devices;
- Neuropsychologists, who are responsible for assessing cognitive impairment and performance and helping patients manage their behaviors and learn coping strategies;
- Occupational therapists, who can help patients relearn or improve skills used on a day-to-day basis; and
- Social workers and case managers, who can facilitate access to service agencies and assist with making care decisions and planning.
Therapy often begins in the hospital where a patient is initially treated, but can continue at inpatient units, residential treatment facilities, or through outpatient services.
In addition to help from specialists, a person recovering from a TBI may also need to take steps to further their rehabilitation in their day-to-day lives. This could include:
- Getting assistance from a TBI support group, which can help patients cope with the emotions that so often accompany these kinds of serious injuries;
- Creating a structured routine, which can help recovering TBI victims feel grounded and organized, especially if they are suffering from memory loss or confusion;
- Taking regular rest breaks, which can help the brain heal and reduce stress for patients; and
- Noting symptoms, which can help doctors keep track of changes in condition.
Returning to one’s regular life after suffering a TBI can be a long and arduous journey and in some tragic cases, isn’t always possible. Obtaining ongoing support and focusing on rehabilitation is critical to this process. Unfortunately, the costs often become prohibitive for TBI patients, which can be especially frustrating for those who were injured through no fault of their own. It is, however, possible for accident victims to obtain a damages award to compensate them for these losses.
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Ongoing treatment and rehabilitation is critical for TBI patients, who may be suffering from the long-term repercussions of their injury. If you suffered a TBI because of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to bear the burden of paying for that treatment on your own. To start the process of filing a claim against the person responsible for your own accident, call 305-371-2692 and set up a meeting with one of the dedicated Miami brain injury lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today.