March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. At Rizk Law, we frequently help those who have survived brain injuries recover the compensation they need to carry on with their lives to the best of their ability. Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe injuries incurred by a devastating accident such as a car accident or slip-and-fall. This year, we want to discuss the top things we have learned from TBI survivors about what they want others to know about their condition.
The Brain No Longer Functions as it Used to
Those who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries experience cognitive deficiencies in their day-to-day lives. For some, it may be difficult to recall vocabulary in conversation; others may be more forgetful than most. This does not mean that the person in your life with brain damage is not paying attention to your discussion or does not care about what you have to say; rather, it becomes difficult to process information. In reality, those with cognitive deficiencies usually try extra hard to pay attention and be present to make up for where they fall short.
People with TBI Fatigue Easily
People whose brains have suffered from a traumatic brain injury need much more rest than those with healthy brains. They may also have irregular sleep patterns, sleeping only a few hours some nights and other nights sleeping up to fourteen hours. The nights they need more rest usually occur after exerting significant physical or mental energy during the day.
The more those with TBI use their brains, the more rest they need. Even a seemingly simple outing like going to a restaurant with various stimuli can overload the brain and require the person to go home and take a break. This does not mean people with TBI are lazy in any way.
Anxiety is a Common Factor in their Daily Lives
Many who have survived severe blows to the head live in constant fear that they will hurt themselves again. A traumatic brain injury occurs from a forceful impact of the head upon another object, such as the dashboard in a car accident. People often lose consciousness and memory and can experience a variety of symptoms that impact their behavior, mood, physical state, and their speech and cognitive abilities:
- Persistent headache
- Difficulty walking
- Trouble paying attention
- Trouble thinking
- Slurred speech patterns
- Balance disorder
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Depression, anger, anxiety, loneliness, apathy
- Blurred vision
A person who has survived a TBI often worries that a secondary blow to the head will lead to paralyzation or death. Many times, those who have survived a TBI require psychological therapy to help them recover from their injuries in addition to medical treatments. A TBI can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning and the fear of getting hurt can keep many survivors from doing the things they need to do and the things they want to do. A few survivors experience profound anxiety that keeps them at home.
Many TBI Survivors Live with Chronic Pain
Like brain damage, chronic pain is often an invisible illness that those who live with it must suffer from in silence. Those who have sustained a TBI often sustained several other injuries in addition to brain injuries. After broken bones heal and bruises and scars fade, chronic pain lingers. It may be difficult for a person suffering from chronic pain to conduct daily movements with ease. The chronic pain can severely limit the functions of the areas of the body that sustained the most impact during the accident. Some have trouble getting comfortable to fall asleep, others get constant migraines. Even a change in weather can exacerbate the pain.
Common Causes of TBI
Traumatic brain injuries can result from multiple causes. To date, the CDC estimates 1.5 million people suffer from a TBI each year. 50,000 people die from TBI each year and 85,000 suffer long-term disabilities. Some of the most common mechanisms of injury include:
- Open head injury
- Closed head injury
- Deceleration injuries
- chemical/ toxic exposure
- Hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
Car accidents, skiing accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, tumors caused by cancer, strokes, heart attacks, respiratory failure, drops in blood pressure, exposure to a low-oxygen environment, exposure to toxins that damage the neurons, bullet wounds, and more can lead to traumatic brain injuries.
At Rizk Law, we represent those who have sustained life-altering injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another party. We fight on behalf of accident survivors to help them hold the responsible parties accountable for the damage they have caused them and their families. Our personal injury firm in Portland strives to obtain the maximum compensation possible for those overcoming severe trauma. Call (503) 245-5677 or email email@example.com for a free consultation