The Most Overlooked Injury in Auto and Trucking Crashes

Having practiced in the area of personal injury law in Indiana for over 35 years, I have seen one injury that is typically missed by a lot of attorneys. The symptoms can be subtle, but persistent and can have profound effects for the injured down the road. You must have patience and persistent to fully ascertain this injury and get treated with the right doctors and medical professionals that understand this injury and its effects. What is this injury? It is a TBI or a traumatic brain injury.

What is the medical definition of a TBI? TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by external force. Alteration in brain function is defined as one of the following clinical signs: 1) any period of loss of consciousness or a decreased loss of consciousness; 2) Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after an injury; 3) neurological deficits such as weakness, loss of balance, change in vision, sensory loss, dizziness, headaches: 4) Any alteration in mental state at the time of injury (confusion, disorientation, slowed thinking). There can be subtle changes in attention, memory, cognitive functioning, speech and language and personality. These wide ranging physical and psychological effects may appear immediately after a crash or appear days or weeks later. One can have normal testing from a CAT Scan and still have a TBI. A TBI can be caused by blow to the head or even a jolt to the head. The brain hitting the sides of the skull in an hyper-extension and hyper-flexion movement can cause a TBI. A concussion can be a sign of a TBI also. Post-concussive symptoms must be monitored for months to see if they subside or continue. A personal injury lawyer cannot be in a rush to settle these TBI cases.

Often a person with a TBI experiences changes in their thinking skills. There can be problems with memory, reasoning, judgment, concentration that were not there before. A person with a TBI can have communication problems including difficulty understanding speech or writing, inability to organize thoughts and ideas, difficulty in speaking or writing and trouble engaging in conversation.  There can be behavior and emotional changes including personality changes, difficulty in self-control, mood swings, anger, depression and irritability. There can be sensory changes including persistent ringing in the ears, trouble with balance or dizziness, double vision and impaired eye-hand coordination.

Countless people suffer these injuries from automobile and trucking crashes and may not even know it. An experienced personal injury must look for these symptoms and get his client the right medical treatment. Often these injuries can be permanent and cause life-changing alterations for the injured. If these are injuries are missed, this will significantly decrease the value of your personal injury claim. Insurance companies continue to downplay these injuries and question their validity. They do not want to pay the true value of these claims. If an attorney misses these injuries and is not trained to look for them, he or she is doing a serious disservice to their clients.

If you have been injured in an auto or truck crash and think you may have a TBI, it is important you see an experienced personal injury lawyer that is thoroughly familiar with these type of injuries and can fight for fair compensation. At Rowe Law Offices, we know the devastating effects a TBI can have on you and your family. Please call Rowe Law Offices if you have been in an accident and think you may have a TBI so that we help you get a fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.

New Study: The Importance of Education in Brain Injury Cases

The Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) recently received a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the effects of brain injuries on kids returning to high school. Rather than conducting new research to develop new  brain injury protocols or assessment measures, the study is designed to assess the efficacy of existing school programs that help kids return to the classroom and extracurricular activities after suffering a concussion or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

According to a recent KTVZ News report, the study will be led by CBIRT Director, Ann Glang, who will work with local university professors and other education specialists to assess how existing models for addressing TBI recovery work. As Glang explained, “this research is unique in that it allows us to evaluate an existing model of support for students with brain injuries, rather than develop a new approach that may take years to translate into practice.” Accordingly, Glang discussed, the study “helps us to close that research-practice gap.”

As part of the study, the researchers will start with an assessment of how brain injuries are identified and how screening practices are implemented at high schools and in high school sports. They will examine the communication methods that exist between “medical and educational systems” to improve students’ recovery after a head injury or concussion. Next, the researchers will track the progress of students with brain injuries over time as they move through high school. Finally, the study will explore “professional development for school personnel” when it comes to helping students cope with the aftermath of having a concussion or other brain injury, and how effective those programs might be for helping students.

One school official clarified the importance of this study, noting that “although hospitals treat children and adolescents with TBI in their initial course of recovery, it is ultimately the school system that serves as the long-term provider of services to these students.”

Facts About Brain Injuries

How often do brain injuries happen, and how severe are they? Where do head injuries happen most often? Are some people at greater risk of a concussion than others? The following are key facts and figures about TBIs cited by Brainline.org that help to answer these questions:

  • About 2.8 million people sustain brain injuries every year;
  • Of the people who suffer a TBI, approximately 50,000 will die and 282,000 will be hospitalized;
  • 153 people die every day, on average, from a brain injury;
  • TBIs are contributing factors in about 30% of all reported injury-related deaths;
  • People between the ages of 0-4, 15-19, and 65 and older are at greatest risk of sustaining a brain injury;
  • Approximately 330,000 children aged 19 or younger are treated in emergency departments each year for TBIs resulting from sports or other recreational activities;
  • Adults aged 75 and older are most likely to be hospitalized for a TBI or to suffer a fatal brain injury; and
  • Falls are the leading cause of TBIs (47%), followed by accidents involving being struck by or against an object (15%) and car accidents (14%).

Brain injuries are some of the most overlooked injuries in auto and trucking crashes. It is important to work with an attorney that understands brain injuries and can fight for full compensation. If you sustained a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, or you think you may have a brain injury from an auto, motorcycle or trucking crash, call  Rowe Law Offices for a free consultation about brain injuries and your best path forward..