Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs are far more common than most people realize, especially since they include concussions. TBIs occur when someone suffers a blow, where the force causes the brain to move within the skull, and despite natural protections, the brain collides with the skull. The impact can cause damage to the brain, leading to a wide range of results. Some TBIs even involve a penetration of the skull and bleeding within the brain, increasing the amount of tissue damage. Even a minor concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury and can cause serious symptoms and permanent consequences. The more severe the TBI, the greater the likelihood of permanent deficits and possible death.
Our Seattle traumatic brain injury lawyers have represented numerous individuals suffering from a variety of brain injuries, including skull fractures, hematomas (blood clots), hemorrhaging, edema (swelling), diffuse axonal injuries (damage to brain cells without bleeding), hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries (Partial or total lack of oxygen), and TBIs.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury, you should speak with the Seattle personal injury lawyers at Emerald City Law Group. When your injury is the result of another person’s negligence, we are here to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit and insurance claim. We will strive to obtain you full compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries.
Call us at 206-973-0407 to schedule a free consultation.
Levels of TBIs
There are typically three levels of TBIs, though you can look at them as if they are on a sliding scale, from minor to the most severe. Physicians utilize a number of tests to determine if you have suffered a TBI, and if so, its severity. One of these tests is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
The GCS has three categories: best visual response, best verbal response, and best motor response. Visual responses can be scored between one and four, verbal responses can be scored between one and five, and motor responses can be scored between one and six. For each category, a score of one means there is no response. The lower your score, the more severe your injury.
- Severe TBI: If you score eight or less on the GCS, you have a severe TBI. This is usually accompanied by a loss of consciousness greater than 24 hours.
- Moderate TBI: A moderate TBI involves a GCS score between nine and 12 and loss of consciousness between 30 minutes and 24 hours.
- Mild/Minor TBI: A concussion has a GCS of 13 to 15 points and loss of consciousness less than 30 minutes, or none at all.
If you suffered a moderate-to-severe TBI, you are likely experiencing significant side effects. You may anticipate one or more permanent changes. You could face cognitive or physical deficits. You may also experience personality changes.
Minor TBIs can result in long-term and challenging side effects as well. It is a common belief that you can recover from concussions quickly and with few consequences. Unfortunately, concussions can do more harm than people realize. It is particularly dangerous to suffer two concussions close together or to suffer multiple concussions over time. After suffering a concussion due to another person’s carelessness, do not assume this is a minor injury undeserving of compensation. You should work with our Seattle traumatic head injury attorneys to obtain an appropriate financial recovery.
Symptoms of Minor TBI (Concussion)
If you or a loved one have suffered a concussion in an accident, you may experience:
- Sensory sensitivity
- Mood swings
- Problems with speech
- Trouble sleeping
The impact of a concussion varies significantly from person to person. You may not experience a concussion the way you suspect, which is why it is important to speak with a physician after you are in an accident. Only a trained doctor can determine whether you suffered a mild TBI. Your physician can also prescribe the best means of recovering fully from a concussion.
Symptoms of Moderate TBI
If you suffered a moderate TBI, you might experience all of the side effects of a concussion to a greater degree and for a longer period of time. You also are more likely to experience:
- Repeated nausea and vomiting
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilated pupils
- Clear fluid draining from your ears or mouth
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness or numbness in your extremities
- Inability to wake from sleep
- Significant confusion
- Slurred speech
- Agitation, aggression, and unusual behavior
For mild and moderate TBIs, it is important to work with a skilled Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney during your insurance claim or lawsuit. The impact of a concussion or moderate TBI can radiate through all parts of your life, including at home, work, in your social life, and in your romantic relationships. An experienced attorney will take into account every way in which this brain injury has negatively affected your life in addition to your financial losses.
Symptoms of Severe TBI
Following a serious TBI, you can experience all of the symptoms mild and moderate TBI sufferings have. These symptoms can be worse, though, and persist for a longer duration. The cognitive, emotional, and physical impact of a severe TBI can be much more significant too. In addition to the previous symptoms, you also may experience:
- Trouble swallowing and speaking
- Challenges forming sentences
- Trouble communicating
- Challenges with logic and reasoning
- Memory impairments and forgetfulness
- Poor concentration and limited attention span
- Changes in your sleep patterns
- Motor impairment
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Changes in sexual function
- Acting inappropriately
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe TBI, contact a Seattle traumatic brain injury lawyer immediately. You or your relative may experience permanent cognitive and/or physical deficits. You may be unable to return to work, or you must prepare for a different kind of employment. It is also common for severe TBIs to lead to personality changes. You or your loved one may never be the same as they were before this injury. An experienced attorney will take all of these factors into consideration when determining the value of your claim and negotiating for the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Obtaining a Proper Diagnosis
Many people assume it is a clear process for physicians to diagnose a concussion or more serious TBI. However, it can be difficult for physicians to tell if you have suffered a brain injury when there is no outward contusions, lacerations, fractures, or penetrating injuries. Concussions can be particularly tricky to diagnose. At Emerald City Law Group, if there is any chance of a brain injury, we recommend visiting an emergency room.
University of Washington Medicine hospitals and other area hospitals have specialists and the equipment necessary to diagnose TBIs. Your physician may utilize MRIs and CT scans. They may also use ultrasound technology and transcranial dopplers to assess the level of trauma your brain sustained in an accident. A specialist may also use Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to determine injury to your brain.
When you go to the ER after an accident, you need to advocate for yourself. You may need to push to see a brain injury specialist or to be looked over for a TBI. You may also need to go back to see a doctor in the days or weeks after an accident. If you were not diagnosed with a TBI right away, but you are experiencing symptoms, see a doctor right away. It is important to diagnose a TBI as soon as possible for you to receive proper treatment and prevent further harm.
After being diagnosed with a TBI, if you have not yet spoken with a personal injury lawyer, call a Seattle traumatic head injury attorney at Emerald City Law Group. We will fight for you to receive compensation that covers all of your past, current, and future medical expenses associated with diagnosing and treating the TBI and your other injuries.
TBIs Can Cause Serious Long-Term Consequences
Research by the Mayo Clinic has found that suffering from a severe TBI or multiple TBIs increases your risk of being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Dementia Pugilistica. If your current injury is severe or not your first TBI, you should speak with an attorney about your heightened risk for these conditions. Your claim for compensation should consider the risk you face of a debilitating condition in the future.
Let Emerald City Law Group Help You
When you or a loved one are suffering from a TBI because of another person’s careless or reckless behavior, you should speak with a Seattle traumatic brain injury lawyer about your rights. In most situations in which you suffer harm due to another person’s negligence, you can pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries. At Emerald City Law Group, we can represent you during a head and brain injury claim. We can guide you through the insurance claim and legal processes. We can calculate the potential value of your claim, always considering your future risks and expenses.
How a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
After any serious accident, there’s a lot to consider. But you don’t need to go through it alone.
At Emerald City Law Group, we know you are in pain and unsure about how to pay your bills. Even enjoying everyday activities can sometimes be taken away. This would be a lot for anyone and that’s why out personal injury attorneys are here to help with the burden you’re facing.
From dealing with insurance companies to helping determine liability, and all the way through a trial if necessary, we are prepared for whatever comes your way, so you get the financial security and peace of mind you need to properly recover. If you have been injured in an accident in King County, Washington or any surrounding area, you deserve justice and compensation. Contact Emerald City Law Group today at 206-973-0407.