The brain is an amazingly complex organ that is the control center of nerve function, breathing, balance and coordination, as well as the reception and processing of sensory perception, problem solving and judgement. Although most of us have experienced injury from a fall, sports activity, or whiplash from a car accident, not everyone is able to walk away without treatment of some kind.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of a sudden jerk or blow to the head that results in the brain bouncing or twisting, which will damage brain cells and possibly cause chemical changes or bleeding. Even though most TBIs are mild, when an accident victim does not seek treatment because the symptoms are not immediately apparent, there is a risk of further complications later.
Symptoms and diagnosis of a TBI
After an accident, even a mild TBI will have some level of brain injury. The symptoms of mild TBI include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Behavioral changes
But a moderate to severe TBI may have these plus other symptoms, such as:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Slurred speech
- Cognitive impairment
A severe TBI can even result in death.
The process of detection of a TBI may include neurological testing or tests such as a CT or MRI scan. Although these scans do not always identify a TBI, they can pinpoint bleeding on the brain. Repetitive brain injury that results from a sports activity such as contact sports, or a repeat injury from a car accident, can cause neurological deficits and even dementia later in life.
Documentation is key
For residents of Washington, D.C. and surrounding communities, the process of filing a claim after injury requires supporting evidence. Whether the injury was due to another’s negligence or willful act, or the result of third-party liability, it is important to keep a detailed timeline of the events that occurred, and especially, comprehensive medical records from the very beginning of diagnosis and treatment. It is essential to have a thorough account of the activity or accident that was a clear or indirect result of the TBI when filing a claim.
In Maryland, recovering compensation after an accident that was the result of negligence must pass the bar of contributory negligence, which may prohibit or limit compensation if the injured party was partially responsible for the accident.