Traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves a blow to the head or jolt to the body, such as whiplash, which affects the brain. TBI symptoms include wide-ranging physical and psychological effects that may be temporary or lifelong. Managing TBI symptoms can be frustrating and costly as medical bills mount and your ability to work and live a productive life is diminished. Dedicated attorneys Elizabeth M. Quick and Matthew Quick of Quick Law Group, PLLC, in Kirkland, WA, are here to fight for accident victims and protect their quality of life. They are familiar with symptoms of brain injuries and coordinate with specialists who can fully evaluate your condition.
Assessing the Severity of Brain Injuries
A moderate brain injury is defined as a brain injury resulting in a loss of consciousness ranging from 20 minutes up to six hours. A severe brain injury is defined as a brain injury resulting in a loss of consciousness in excess of six hours. How the injury affects the individual, and the symptoms they experience, will depend on:
- The severity of the initial injury
- Functions affected
- Resources available to aid recovery
- The rate of recovery
In severe cases, patients might develop related conditions such as peripheral or central vestibular disorder.
Red Flags: Life-Threatening TBI Symptoms
Head injuries can result in a dangerous blood clot or swelling that puts pressure on the brain. These conditions can be life-threatening. Red flags that you need to go to the emergency room right away include:
- A persistent headache that gets worse
- Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
- Slurred speech
- Vomiting or nausea
A hallmark of TBI is the processing problems that victims endure. Victims often find that it is harder to perform complex and even simple cognitive tasks. These individuals may experience difficulty in several areas, including:
- Speed of processing
Language processing, including speaking, reading, and writing, can also become more difficult. Patients might also have trouble with executive functioning skills, such as organization and self-regulation.
Social & Emotional Disruptions
TBI victims can also endure personality changes connected to their injury. Common social and emotional effects of TBI include:
- Mood swings
- Dependent behaviors
- Lack of motivation
Sensory & Physical Effects
There are also a host of sensory and physical changes connected to TBI, such as:
- Visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Increased sensitivity to sounds
- Decrease or loss of vision, hearing, smell, or taste
- Difficulty interpreting sensations, such as touch, temperature, movement, and limb position
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Appetite changes
Many of these symptoms are similar to the effects of inner ear injuries, which typically impact balance and orientation.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
People who have a history of multiple brain injuries, particularly athletes, can develop a progressive degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE symptoms can arise months or even decades after the last instance of brain trauma, and may include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Lack of impulse control
- Suicidal ideation
This disease can result from symptomatic concussions or asymptomatic subconcussive head injuries, which do not produce any symptoms. Sufferers experience a progressive degeneration of the brain tissue itself, as well as the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau.
How Long Do Symptoms Last?
Symptoms of TBI manifest differently for each person. In some individuals, effects appear right away, such as loss of consciousness or confusion. Other victims may feel fine initially only to experience signs of a brain injury, like cognitive impairment and fatigue, days or even weeks later.
Our attorneys are familiar with symptoms of brain injuries and coordinate with specialists who can fully evaluate your condition.
The duration of symptoms tends to correlate with the severity of the injury. More severe injuries may present symptoms for a longer period of time – potentially, for life. That said, sometimes people with mild TBI experience symptoms for years or even decades. Additionally, different symptoms can come and go over time.
Live Fully Despite the Effects of TBI
Despite the challenges brain injury patients face, they can live functional and productive lives. The personal injury attorneys at Quick Law Group are here to support TBI victims with outstanding legal representation so they can focus on healing. Call (425) 576-8150 or reaching out to us online to book your free consultation.