This March, the traumatic brain injury (TBI) attorneys at Gauthier Amedee want to recognize Brain Injury Awareness Month by addressing a few of the misunderstandings many people have about these injuries. Though somewhat common, brain injuries are very serious: out of the almost 300,000 reported TBIs in the U.S. each year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate over 20% of those resulted in the death of the injured person.
To learn more about the risks, causes, and recovery options for brain injuries, let’s take a look at six prevalent TBI myths and find out the truth behind them.
Myth: TBI Patients Will Never Recover
Truth: It is a common misconception that TBI patients will never recover. Some of the most severe injuries may result in permanent disability or untimely death, but recovery is definitely possible for many patients. Research shows that the most progress is made in the first two weeks to twelve months following a TBI, even for moderate to severe injuries. This includes those resulting in a coma.
The recovery process for a concussion or mild TBI can often be managed at home following a medical check-up, but people with moderate to severe TBIs may need more intensive medical care and rehabilitation
Myth: There Are No Serious Concerns With a Concussion
Truth: Concussions are often referred to as “mild” TBIs because they are usually not life-threatening. However, they can absolutely pose serious challenges to a person’s physical and mental health.
Common symptoms of a concussion include headache, confusion, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Sometimes, they can even cause changes in vision, taste, or smell. Untreated concussions can lead to complications and long-term effects, such as chronic headaches, memory problems, and depression.
Proper medical evaluation and management of a concussion can help prevent long-term complications and ensure a full recovery.
Myth: Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Caused by Impact on the Head
Truth: In fact, while TBIs can indeed be caused by a direct impact on the head (e.g., after a fall or construction site accident), they can also result from forces applied to the body. For example, whiplash from an auto accident can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull and result in a TBI.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur from internal injuries as well, such as from a gunshot wound or shrapnel entering the skull. If you are showing symptoms of a concussion or more damage to the brain after an accident, see your doctor as soon as possible to be evaluated and treated.
Myth: Brain Damage is Always Diagnosable and Easy To Prove
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, brain damage resulting from a TBI is not always easily diagnosable or provable. CT scans may not always show the extent of the damage, so working closely with a healthcare provider is necessary to explore the full effects of the injury.
Additionally, even with a diagnosis, it can be challenging to prove the extent of the damage in a legal case. Having expert testimony, a well-organized case, and a strong Louisiana legal defense team can make a world of difference in getting a favorable outcome for your claim
Myth: The Most At-Risk Group for TBIs Is Athletes
Truth: Athletes are certainly at risk for TBIs, particularly in high-impact sports such as football and boxing, but the most at-risk group is actually older adults over the age of 75. In fact, this age group makes up approximately 32% of TBI hospitalizations and 28% of TBI deaths.
In terms of causes, falls are the leading cause of TBIs, particularly in older adults, followed by motor vehicle accidents. In reality, TBIs can happen to anyone and in a number of situations, and they should always be taken seriously.
Myth: TBI Symptoms Typically Present the Same for Each Person
Truth: Symptoms of a TBI can vary significantly from person to person, and can be affected by a variety of factors such as age, race, financial status, and housing status. For example, older adults may have a harder time recovering from a TBI than younger people, and children may experience developmental delays as a result of a TBI.
Health disparities can increase the likelihood of serious complications or death and can impact the time it takes to recover. As mentioned above, there are also varying degrees of TBIs, from mild concussions to severe brain damage, and all of these different variables can play a role in how a TBI is experienced from person to person.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, TBIs significantly impact the lives of injured individuals and their families. If you’ve suffered a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and losses, including medical expenses, lost income, and emotional or physical suffering. The heavy hitters at Gauthier Amedee are ready to help you get your life back on track today.