In the last few decades, medical professionals have reevaluated their understanding of minor brain injuries. Previously, these innocuous knocks to the head were thought to have virtually no serious or long-term consequences. Today, medical professionals around the world understand that even a slight impact or minor concussion can have many long-term health impacts, some of which can be quite severe.
If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of a fall, auto collision, or another accident, it is important to keep this in mind. A minor head injury can be easily dismissed and forgotten, especially if you feel that you are fortunate not to have suffered more severe injuries. However, it is important to take your head injury seriously, even if you feel as though it is not worth the time or effort. As you will find out, these minor brain injuries can get progressively worse over time, and they can lead to a variety of physical, mental, and emotional consequences.
For those who do take these minor brain injuries seriously, a wide range of benefits can be experienced. Not only can these diligent individuals get the early medical treatment they need, but they can also receive a settlement that adequately covers these potential long-term consequences. When brain injury victims work with qualified, experienced personal injury attorneys, they can receive the financial support they need to deal with these long-term effects. These settlements can make a real difference going forward, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Impairments to Basic Neural Functions
One medical study published in a 2018 edition of Nature came to the conclusion that even the mildest TBIs can result in impairments to basic neural functions. This study found the presence of “abnormal saccadic eye movements, diminished accuracy of primary saccadic horizontal eye movement, and lower reaction to both visual and auditory stimuli. This suggests that even a mild TBI may have significant impacts on a person’s vision long after the initial injury has taken place.
Many victims of mild traumatic brain injuries report persistent headaches long after the actual injury. These include tension headaches, cervical headaches, migraines, neuralgic pains, and other similar issues. Migraines can be especially problematic because they often involve light and sound sensitivity. This might make it difficult for injury victims to enjoy many of the pastimes they previously enjoyed. Many of these issues are thought to be caused by vascular changes within the brain.
Although migraines can cause light sensitivity, this problem can also develop independently of headaches of any kind after a mild brain injury. Victims might develop a sensitivity to a particular type of light, such as sunlight. This can make it very difficult to be outdoors for long periods of time. In addition, patients may become sensitive to certain types of artificial light, such as fluorescent lighting. This can make it challenging to work at an office. There is no known cure for light sensitivity.
Other possible long-term consequences of mild TBIs include sleep issues. Individuals may find it difficult to sleep at night while feeling very tired during the day. Unfortunately, many victims find themselves turning to over-the-counter medication in order to address these issues, which can cause more problems in the long run.
Even after a relatively mild brain injury, victims can experience serious changes to the way they process emotions. Patients may have difficulty inhibiting certain emotions, leading to impulsive or aggressive behavior. In contrast, some patients may have trouble accessing certain emotions, leading to a feeling of numbness. Still others may have difficulty identifying their own emotions, leading to confusion and inner turmoil. Unfortunately, these emotional issues can create a “domino effect.” Individuals may develop substance abuse issues, suicidal tendencies, and many other alarming, long-term problems.
Mild TBIs can also lead to significant cognitive impairments. A patient’s ability to carry out long-term planning and other executive functions may be heavily impacted by a minor brain injury. Although it is possible to relearn many of these skills through various rehabilitation techniques, these issues can seriously impact an individual’s ability to work effectively. Many patients lose their jobs because they cannot perform the same tasks.
Although we have already covered emotional issues related to mild brain injuries, depression really deserves its own section. This is one of the most common consequences of a mild TBI. In fact, it is estimated that 20% of all victims of mild TBIs will develop depression, anxiety, or another form of mental illness after their injury. Depression is notoriously hard to diagnose, and it may also be difficult to treat. Depression can also take many forms, although it is most commonly described as a feeling of hopelessness and a loss of interest in life.
Get the Legal Help You Need
In the face of all these potential side effects, it is important for victims to get the legal assistance they need after suffering a minor brain injury. With the right attorney by their side, these victims can make sure they are getting a settlement that adequately reflects everything they might experience in the future as a result of their brain injury. There might be many challenges associated with filing claims for minor brain injuries, but the medical community agrees that these injuries have legitimate long-term consequences. This will make it much easier for victims of mild TBIs to take decisive legal action in the future.
It is always a good idea for brain injury victims to work with attorneys who have experience with personal injury lawsuits that specifically relate to brain injuries. Our legal professionals are not only familiar with the various legal aspects of these cases, but also the wealth of medical data that is relevant to brain injuries. Mary Alexander & Associates is one law firm that has been fighting for the rights of brain injury victims for many years, and this firm is passionate about helping these victims get the settlements they need.