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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Idaho

According to the National Vital Statistic System which tracks TBI’s in America, there are approximately 2.5 million people who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) a year.

WHAT IS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)?

The TBI ranges in severity from mild to moderate to severe depending on whether the victim of injury has a brief change in mental state to an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia following the injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be caused by a direct blow or jolt to the head. It may occur from either a closed head injury (an injury when the head violently strikes an object like a window in an auto accident or when the head hits the floor following a slip and fall) or a penetrating wound to the head.

The brain is comprised of over a thousand billion neurons that work in concert, and provides us with capacity to reason, feelings and emotions and our ability to comprehend the world around us. The brain, like a memory chip, provides us with the capacity for short term and long term memory. When a person sustains a traumatic brain injury, deficits in any number of categories may emerge that require immediate diagnosis and treatment.

WHAT ARE THE DISABILITIES COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?

There are a variety of disabilities that may arise following a traumatic brain injury including problems associated with "cognitive function" such as thinking, memory and reasoning. Another common problem associated with traumatic brain injury is are deficits in sensory processing and perception including the capacity for sight, hearing, smell, taste and touching. A persons ability to communicate may be affected in both expression and understanding. Lastly, a person’s behavior and mental health can be altered significantly including personality changes, social inappropriateness arising from depression, anxiety and aggression.

Left untreated and unaddressed, victims of traumatic brain injury oftentimes undergo significant changes in relationships both in marriage, friendships and jobs. associations.

Symptoms from traumatic brain injury or trauma can take within days to weeks to manifest themselves. Approximately 40% of the TBI patients develop symptoms associated with "Postconcussion Sydrome" or PCS. A patient may not have suffered from loss of consciousness or even a concusion to develop PCS, but many mild TBI patients suffer from it.

The symptoms include headache, vertigo (a sensation of objects spinning around the patient), dizziness, lack of the ability to concentrate, memory (either short term or long term) difficulties, sleeping disorders, irritability or restlessness, depression, apathy or anxiety.

Both physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI along with a neuro-psychologist should be considered in developing a treatment plan for the TBI patient.

The most common deficit associated with TBI is memory loss which includes the loss of recall of specific events in a person’s life and the inability to remember new ones. Some TBI patients develop "post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), either anterograde or retrograde. Anterograde PTA is a person’s impaired memory of events that happen after the brain injury occurs. Retrograde PTA is a person’s impaired memory of events that occur before the brain injury occurs.

Many times a victim of personal injury will consult with an attorney with questions concerning not having been properly diagnosed or treated for symptoms that manifest after the victim was treated in the emergency room, because neither the patient or the family are aware of the resources available for the diagnosis and treatment. They oftentimes mistakenly believe that "time heals all wounds."

The problem with failing to address the deficits of TBI is the delay in without proper diagnosis and treatment is that it increases the loss associated with the injury.

WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE IN IDAHO FOR THE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) PATIENT?

The National Institute of Health recommends that victims of traumatic brain injury have an individualized rehabilitation program arranged based upon the patient's strengths and capacities and that rehabilitation services should be modified over time to adapt to the patient's changing needs. The rehabilitation program involves the skill of a number of specialists including physical medicine (physiatry), physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology/psychiatry, and social support.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF HAVING A TBI?

Auto accidents account for 17.3% of all traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, second only to slip and falls. In an auto crash, a car may stop suddenly, but your body and internal organs are still moving for a split second upon impact. The change in velocity upon impact, if not deadly, can be sever to your internal organs including your brain. Brain injuries occur as a result of either an extreme forward/backward or side to side motion or as a result of blunt trauma to the head by the head hitting the windshield, steering wheel, air bag or any other part of the car with great force.

First and foremost, in order to minimize the risk of traumatic brain injury, you should wear your safety restraint belts (seat belt and shoulder harness) anytime you are driving or a passenger in a motor vehicle. Even so, TBI injuries can and do occur by side impacts and rear end collisions, but by wearing your seat belt and shoulder harness you minimize the risk of a traumatic brain injury. However, even wearing a seat belt will not eliminate the risk of a TBI in a car crash.

Second, if you drive with a vehicle with air bags, have a qualified technician examine them to insure they are properly installed and maintained each time you have the vehicle services. Accidental discharge of airbags still account for a number of fatalities and injuries each year.

Third, make sure if you are a passenger in the front seat that you adjust the seat away from the dash containing the air bag as far as possible.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY REQUIRES AN EXPERIENCED TEAM OF EXPERTS TO HELP YOU INCLUDING AN EXPERIENCED TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) ATTORNEY

If you or a loved one have incurred a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the negligence of another, it is wise to consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney in a free initial consultation to discuss not only your legal rights and remedies, but also to identify what resources are available to your family and you for the help you need to resolve the economic and non-economic impact each of you have incurred as a result of the injury. Boise Personal Attorney and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Trial Lawyer has over 31 years of experience in helping victims of injury learn of their legal rights and remedies. Mr. Morton can assist your family in identifying resources available to help your family and you to help you address the issues you face not only against the responsible party’s insurance carrier, but to assure that your team of specialists are addressing all of your needs that occur as a result of the injury you or your loved one has incurred. You can reach Mr. Morton at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or by way of our online contact form. You may also wish to review the testimonials by clients that Mr. Morton has helped over the years obtain compensation for their injuries caused by the negligence of others. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in families sustaining significant losses both economically and non-economically, and you should consider putting together the team that is committed to helping your family and you achieve the best results given the damages you have incurred.


Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer