Personal Injuries

Debunking 6 Common Myths about Traumatic Brain Injuries

Woman being prepped for CT scan by a medical assistant.

The human brain is responsible for most bodily functions. Without it, a person would be unable to breathe, pump blood, or digest food. The brain also controls a person's thoughts, emotions, and movements, so it plays an integral role in our overall health. Of course, our brain's functions are affected when we sustain a traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur from a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports injury, or trauma to the head.  In most cases, the law comes into play because people don't expect a TBI to happen. They may be eligible to seek compensation, but only when proven right. Like any other condition, traumatic brain injuries are also plagued with myths and misconceptions that may deter people from getting themselves checked out, especially if they suspect that they have a TBI. We'll debunk some of these myths in this article, including:

#1 - All TBIs Are the Same

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when treating a TBI, as the severity of the injury will determine the kind of treatment needed. However, standard treatments for a TBI may include physical therapy to help the victim regain movement and function, speech therapy to help the victim communicate more effectively, and rehabilitation to help the victim recover from the physical and emotional effects of the injury.

The primary stage of a TBI is a concussion, a type of brain injury that can occur after a blow to the head. Concussions are usually mild but can lead to severe complications if not treated properly. Complications from concussions can include:

  • Bleeding in the brain (Hemorrhage)
  • Swelling of the brain (Cerebral edema)
  • Damage to the blood vessels in the brain (Vasospasm)
  • Changes in mental status or behavior

These complications are often unpredictable, so

#2 - You Will Eventually Heal from a TBI

While there are many different TBIs, it’s essential to understand that all TBIs are severe and require immediate medical treatment. A TBI may cause a temporary disability or long-term problems. This can result in difficulties with cognitive, physical, social, and emotional functioning.

If you or a loved one has experienced a mild TBI (concussion or mild TBI) or a severe TBI (moderate to severe TBI), it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. TBIs can be highly complex, and treatment must be tailored to the individual and the extent of their injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, don’t wait to seek help from a TBI rehabilitation center.

#3 - You Have No TBI Because You Did Not Pass Out

Just because you didn't pass out doesn't mean you don't have a TBI. You may have a TBI if you hit your head and experience any of the following:

  • A brief loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Even if you didn't lose consciousness, if you hit your head hard enough to cause any of these symptoms, you may have suffered a TBI. It's also worth noting that you may not experience any symptoms immediately after the injury. It's possible that you won't start feeling any effects for days or even weeks after the initial trauma. If you think you may have suffered a TBI, you must see a medical professional as soon as possible to get the treatment you need.

#4 - Hitting Your Head Is the Only Way to Sustain a TBI

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when a sudden force or impact damages the brain. Though often associated with head trauma, TBIs can also result from non-head injuries such as shaken baby syndrome. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe damage, leading to long-term problems or even death.

Furthermore, traumatic brain injuries can be tough to recover from. Many people who suffer a TBI will require extensive medical care and rehabilitation to regain their previous level of function. In some cases, people may never fully recover from their injury and may require lifelong assistance.

#5 - You’re Fine If You Can Still Function after Sustaining a TBI

You might think that if you can still function after sustaining a TBI, you're fine. However, there can be long-term effects from even a mild TBI. These effects can include problems with thinking, memory, and mood. You may also have problems with vision or hearing. In some cases, people who have had a TBI may develop epilepsy or experience changes in their personality.

For example, TBI can cause changes in a person's personality or behavior. They may become more impulsive, aggressive, or irritable. Sometimes, they may have trouble with memory, concentration, and organization.

Beyond that, TBI can also cause physical problems. A person with TBI may have trouble walking or moving. They may have issues with their vision or hearing. They may also have seizures or headaches.

#6 - A TBI Only Needs Treatment If It’s "Serious"

TBIs can have a wide range of short- and long-term effects, depending on the severity of the injury. Some common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, mood swings, and depression. More severe effects can include seizures, coma, and paralysis.

Treatment for TBIs often depends on the severity of the injury. For milder injuries, rest and over-the-counter pain medications may be enough to help manage symptoms. More severe injuries may require hospitalization and more aggressive treatment such as surgery or rehabilitation therapy.

When to Seek Treatment

Most people with mild TBIs can be treated at home. You may need to limit your activities at home, but you should be able to think and communicate clearly. But if your symptoms don’t improve, or if they get worse, see your primary care provider right away. If you can’t think clearly, speak, walk normally, or have a severe headache or any of the other symptoms of TBI, call 911 or get to an emergency room as quickly as possible.

If you’re at risk for TBIs because you participate in contact sports, you should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional after a brutal hit or fall. This is to ensure that there's no severe damage to the brain or skull.

Preventing TBIs

You can take steps to prevent TBIs by wearing a seatbelt every time you get in a car or truck. If you ride a motorcycle, always wear a helmet. If you participate in contact sports, always wear the proper safety gear. You can also help prevent falls by keeping your home free of clutter, ensuring the floor is dry and clean and installing handrails on both sides of your stairs.

Conclusion

TBIs are serious injuries that can lead to long-term and sometimes permanent problems. TBI survivors can suffer from vision, hearing, memory, balance, and coordination problems. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, you should talk to a personal injury attorney about your legal options.

If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in LA, Mendez & Sanchez Law can help you! We specialize in various areas such as accidents, injuries, and workers’ compensation to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today and allow us to help you!

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