Perhaps you have had a concussion before or hit your head pretty hard. If you go to a doctor, they might prescribe you with observed rest for a while, perhaps some pain relievers, but there’s not much more to it than that, in most cases.
Then there are some head injuries so severe that they affect us for the rest of our lives. These sorts of injuries usually come with complex or deadly complications that can cause further damage to the brain and the body as a whole. If you were in a car accident or hit on the head by a heavy object falling from a shelf at work, then not only may your injury be catastrophic for your health, but no doubt catastrophic for your finances as well. That is why when you suffer a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should be compensated for your pain and suffering – pain and suffering that may last the rest of your life.
What are the top six traumatic brain injury complications?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) happen when a force hits or jostles your head hard enough to cause the brain to suffer trauma. Sometimes, TBIs happen when something penetrates the head and brain, or when your brain is jostled and hits the inside of your skull. They can happen when you slip on some ice on the sidewalk, if a heavy object falls on your head while reaching for something at work, or when you are in a bad car accident.
The most common complications from TBI include:
- Seizures. After a severe injury, some people may experience seizures during or shortly after the initial trauma, though sometimes it can take months or even years for the seizures from this injury to become symptomatic. Early seizures after a head injury are called early post-traumatic seizures. If it takes a week after the injury for a seizure to hit, it’s called late post-traumatic seizure. Eighty percent of TBI patients report experiencing another seizure at some point in their lifetime after they had a post-traumatic seizure. Finally, if the seizures are repetitive and reoccurring, patients are typically diagnosed with epilepsy.
- Infections. If bacteria is able to get into the brain, whether from the object that penetrated the skull, or from bacteria that entered the wound separately, this could cause an infection. Meningitis is a deadly infection in the meninges (layers of membranes that cover and protect your brain). This can cause death in as little as a few hours. If the victim survives the infection, it can leave them with permanent disabilities.
- Coma. The Mayo Clinic states “a person in a coma is unconscious, unaware of anything and unable to respond to any stimulus. This results from widespread damage to all parts of the brain. After a few days to a few weeks, a person may emerge from a coma or enter a vegetative state.” Comas can last from days to weeks to months to years. If the patient wakes from their coma, the condition they will be in is determined by how severe the damage to the brain was, with some people suffering from disabilities once they’ve woken from their coma.
- Vegetative state. Coma victims, when waking, may pass through a vegetative state, where the person can open their eyes, respond to reflexes, and make sounds but remain unaware of their surroundings. While it’s rare, some victims do not wake from their vegetative state, and it becomes permanent.
- Degenerative brain diseases. While research is still ongoing in the field of brain injuries and brain diseases, some experts believe that brain diseases are more likely in people who have had a severe brain injury, or repeated brain injuries. These brain diseases include:
- Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is symptomatic of progressive memory loss and other cognitive functions.
- Parkinson’s disease. This disease causes progressive decline with the ability to move, causing tremors and rigidity.
- Dementia pugilistica. Thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head, this disease results in possible dementia and movement issues.
- Brain death. This is an irreversible condition where there is no measurable activity from the brain or brainstem. When this occurs, breathing tubes and other assisting devices will be removed from the patient, resulting in heart failure.
How do TBI complications affect patients in the long term?
Suffering a brain injury is difficult enough without complications, but should you suffer a traumatic brain injury complication, then your life may be completely different even once you’ve been treated for all of your physical injuries. Brain injuries can affect your movement and memory, but it can also affect how you learn, how you experience the world, your emotions, and even your behaviors.
Cognitive problems can develop due to your injury and its complications. You might not be able to focus or think as quickly as you used to. Your reasoning and judgment could be affected as well. Not only that but executive functioning issues may also arise, affecting your abilities to multitask, solve problems, organize, and plan. Should you have had a career in a field that requires these skills, you may find it difficult to return to work.
Communication skills may be damaged as well, which can prove extremely stressful and frustrating to both the patient and those they are trying to communicate with. You may have trouble speaking or writing, difficulty reading or understanding speech, and you may have issues speaking and participating in conversations. These lost skills can affect your social life as well, making non-verbal communication difficult to recognize and understand, problems with tone and pitch of your words and voice, and you may even suffer from dysarthria – the inability to use your muscles to form words when needed.
Problems with your emotional behavior are also a possibility. You may find that you now have difficulty with self-control, that you are taking more risks, or that you have been having physical or vocal outbursts. Brain injury complications can affect your emotions, causing irregular mood swings, depression, irritability, anger, and insomnia.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury and its complications due to someone else’s neglect, then you have suffered enough. We want to make sure that you get every penny you are owed. You do not deserve this suffering, and we will ensure that you do not suffer financially. At Gainsberg Law, our traumatic brain injury attorneys will work tirelessly for you. We want to do whatever we can to help you sleep better at night. For an initial consultation, call Gainsberg law at 312-600-9585 or use our contact form. We have spent years helping accident victims in Chicago and Cook County.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More