What are the stages of recovery following a traumatic brain injury? How long does it take to recover and can car accident victims expect to have a full recovery following their injuries? Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are some of the most serious injuries individuals can suffer in a car accident. When an individual suffers an injury to the brain, the effects can last for days, months, and potentially throughout the individual's lifetime. Many TBI's are underdiagnosed or missed completely. Signs and symptoms of a TBI can include headaches, blurry vision, light sensitivity, ringing in the ears, loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, lethargy, memory loss, delayed thought and speech, loss of executive function, loss of sex drive, dizziness, nausea, sleeping too much, loss of impulse control, depression, hostility, mood change and other medical symptoms.
Each day, nearly 153 people die from TBI's. 14% of all TBI's are the result of car accidents. This makes automobile accidents the third leading cause of TBI after falls and sports injuries. When an individual suffers a brain injury, they may experience headaches and dizziness as well as unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, and the inability to remember suffering the injury. While these symptoms typically occur immediately following the injury, it is possible that they won't present themselves for days or weeks afterward.
Traumatic brain injuries require specialized care and treatment delivered by qualified neurological healthcare providers. Many of these doctors are neurologists or neuropsychologists. In some cases, this may require many months of rehabilitative treatment within neurological care facilities and outpatient care centers. In the weeks immediately following a TBI, the swelling, bleeding, and changes within the chemistry of the brain negatively affect the function of brain tissues. The level of damage is determined based on CT scans and MRI's as well as the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale. Proper assessment and treatment during this phase is critical as it will affect the long-term recovery prospects of the individual. As these factors stabilize, brain function typically begins to improve and will continue to improve for a period of between six months and two years. Usually, the brain is sloshed back and forth against the skull which causes shear force damage to axons in the brain which may result in cell death and loss of blood flow to parts of the brain.
The most significant improvement typically occurs within the first six months after the injury. During this period, the individual's motor functions will improve, their ability to remember information and their ability to perform job related functions will recover. However, this does not mean that these functions and capabilities will be fully restored and many individuals who suffer TBI's have some lasting effects that can include damage to short and long-term memory functions.
Individuals will continue to recover for up to two years following the injury. However, the rate of recovery will gradually diminish during this period. There are many factors that influence the individual's recovery which includes the severity of the injury, the age of the individual at the time of the automobile accident, the treatment they receive, and their overall health when they were injured and throughout the recovery period.
At the two year point following an injury, 34% of TBI survivors still require at least some form of supervision. However, 93% are able to continue living in their private residence, with 34% of these living with a spouse or partner, and 29% living with parents. Of significant concern is the individual's ability to secure and retain employment. At two years following a TBI, only 33% are employed. Equally as important is the fact that those who suffer even moderate TBI's are at increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's which are conditions that patients and their families should closely watch for and pursue treatment for as soon as they are suspected.
Brad Pistotnik Law helps clients secure the compensation they need for long-term recovery following traumatic brain injuries. We work on semi and big truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, farm accidents, heavy equipment accidents, construction site accidents and many other cases like workers' compensation. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago, Garden City, Liberal, Dodge City, Satanta, Ulysses, Wellington, Winfield, Goodland, Junction City, Great Bend, or elsewhere in Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri our office helps clients estimate their long-term care expenses so that there are no out of pocket for medical care, lost wages, and other damages sustained as the result of an automobile accident as long as sufficient bodily injury liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage and other forms of insurance exist.
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