Portland Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Assisting Victims of Serious Brain Injuries in the Portland Area
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe injury that has the potential to cause permanent disabilities or even death. A TBI can occur when a person sustains a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head. Such trauma can damage the delicate tissue of your brain, which then disrupts the normal functioning of that part of the brain. Because so many parts of the brain can suffer injury, TBI victims can experience widely varying symptoms and effects.
Any degree of TBI should be treated as a serious injury. After an accident, if a victim hit their head or is acting strangely, they should seek medical attention right away. A proper diagnosis and treatment for a TBI are critical to a patient’s prognosis. Even with a timely diagnosis, however, there is still a chance a TBI can cause lasting impairments.
Many TBI victims have their lives completely changed in an instant. If you sustained a brain injury in an accident and believe the accident was the fault of another party, you should consult with an experienced personal injury law firm as soon as you can. First, get the medical help you need and then, please contact Rizk Law for a free consultation. We regularly advise and represent injured people in the Portland area, so please contact us online or call today.
What Causes a TBI?
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in many ways and are often the result of an accident or act of violence. The following are some of the common causes of this serious injury:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Sports accidents
- Birth injuries
- Slip and falls
- Falls from high places
- Assaults, including gunshot wounds
If your brain injury occurred because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or party, the law gives you the right to seek compensation for your losses. This is important because the costs associated with treating a TBI can be overwhelming.
Diagnosing and Treating a Brain Injury
When someone arrives at the emergency room after a head trauma, doctors can perform numerous tests to determine whether a TBI occurred and the severity of the brain damage. Often, these tests may be repeated over time to determine whether the brain injury is worsening or whether there is any hemorrhaging. Some tests examine a patient’s physical and cognitive abilities, while others are imaging tests that allow doctors to examine the brain itself for any damage.
A CAT scan can be particularly useful in identifying fresh bleeding in the brain, however, a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) is generally superior when identifying damage to the brain tissue. For this reason, a patient with a suspected TBI may undergo different types of MRIs, which may include:
- Traditional MRI – This test using magnetic fields to create radiographic slices of the brain, which can be closely examined by doctors. Brain damage as small as one to two millimeters may be detected, which can help to diagnose a TBI that seems asymptomatic.
- Susceptibility weighted imaging MRI – This software helps an MRI detects microhemorrhages in the brain, of which hundreds can result from trauma, especially from a violent shaking. Knowing the extent of these microhemorrhages can help prove the severity of an injury, as well as prescribe the right type of rehabilitative treatment.
- Diffusion tensor imaging MRI – This newer technology allows doctors to review possibly torn or missing brain fibers that can usually not be viewed on a traditional MRI. This is especially helpful in the case of a diffuse axonal brain injury, which is common in falls from heights or high-speed crashes.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – This test allows doctors to examine the vertebral and carotid arterial systems without injecting a patient with dye through a catheter, as in a traditional arteriography.
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) – When performed with an MRI, this relatively new test can help to produce an objective diagnosis of the level of cellular and metabolic damage to the brain.
The above tests are often critical in reaching an accurate TBI diagnosis and determining the right course of treatment for TBI patients. However, these tests can come with a high price tag. A traditional MRI can cost up to $2,000 at an Oregon hospital and your bills can increase substantially with each additional test.
Once a TBI is diagnosed, the treatment plan will depend on the severity of the injury and the nature of symptoms presented. First, many victims of severe TBIs experience an extended period of unconsciousness. This period could last days, weeks, or months, and patients usually require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) during this time. Even if a patient is not unconscious, doctors may require hospitalization to easily monitor patients for possible complications, such as hemorrhaging or swelling that can cause excessive intracranial pressure. If pressure reaches dangerous levels, doctors may opt to surgically insert a monitor under the patient’s skull.
Even with treatment, many brain injury victims suffer a variety of lasting impairments. These effects will differ from patient to patient and often include difficulties with:
- Slurred speech
- Written or verbal communication skills
- Information processing
- Following instructions
- Behavioral and emotional control
- Sensory abilities
Some TBI victims can make a full recovery with time and rehabilitative treatment. Others may live the rest of their lives with disabilities as a result of their injury. Such patients may not be able to return to work or school and may even require daily care and assistance.
Contact a Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Law Firm as Soon as Possible
At Rizk Law, we have seen firsthand the possible effects of a traumatic brain injury. We know that this is a complex injury that has a unique impact on each patient, and we treat each case accordingly. We can evaluate your rights, calculate your losses, and seek financial recovery for our clients struggling with a TBI. Please call 503-245-5677 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in Portland today.