Traumatic brain injuries are sneaky and frightening. They’re sneaky because they can go undetected, growing more and more dangerous before they become apparent even to the injured person. They’re frightening because their symptoms can change a person’s whole life — even their personality — and they are very difficult to treat.
That said, there are treatments available for some people with TBIs.
What is a TBI?
Put simply, a TBI is an injury to the tissue of the brain caused by a blow to the head. These injuries are relatively common after car accidents.
In many cases, a sudden blow to the head — such as that suffered by a driver or passenger in a car accident — does not immediately show itself, but inside the person’s head, their brain is bruised. The bruising causes the brain tissue to swell, pressing against the inside of the skull. This can block normal blood flow, leading to serious damage to the brain.
Immediate symptoms can include dizziness, vomiting, loss of memory or loss of consciousness. In many cases, the symptoms do not manifest themselves until hours after the accident, and can include cognitive problems, personality changes and more.
When possible, doctors treat TBIs with surgery. For instance, a surgeon may be able to relieve pressure on the brain tissue by temporarily opening the skull. However, surgical treatments can only help very soon after an accident.
If this type of treatment is not possible, the patient’s options are limited. Brain tissue does not heal the same way as other parts of the body do. There are no medications that can rebuild nerve endings and repair brain damage.
Instead, people with TBIs typically go through extensive rehabilitative therapy. Over time, these treatments can help many TBI patients to recover at least some of their former abilities.
As you might imagine, this type of therapy is not cheap. At the same time, a person with a TBI may be unable to work the same way they did before their accident. The result can be financial disaster for them and their families.
If their injuries are the result of another person’s negligence, they may be able to recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Because the damages are so extensive in these cases, it is crucial that the injured and their families recover all that they need to face the difficulties that lie ahead of them.