It is estimated that in the United States more than 5 million people are living with a permanent disability caused by traumatic brain injury. That number doesn’t include the 2.8 million cases reported each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sadly, many of these individuals do not find the medical care and support they need to gain back control of their lives.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are as catastrophic as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or amputations and can leave profound effects on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the victim.
Your New Orleans traumatic brain injury attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm recognize that there is a lot of false information spread about TBIs. Whether it is misguided family members or uninformed friends offering you advice, it is always in the best interest to take a TBI seriously. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please seek medical attention immediately.
And be wary of the following myths spread about TBIs.
Myths to Watch Out For
1. A brain injury only occurs when you lose consciousness.
This is one of the most common misconceptions of TBIs. In truth, victims of a brain injury DO NOT always lose consciousness. Technically, a mild TBI is defined as a loss of consciousness for less than 20 minutes, even sometimes with no loss of consciousness at all. Rather, the sufferer may merely deal with a period of dazed confusion and haziness.
This is vital for family members to understand, as they may not realize that their loved one suffered a TBI since they may be looking for more obvious signs (e.g. a period of unconsciousness).
2. You must suffer a strike to the head to suffer a TBI.
While movies and television have taught us that concussions and brain injuries only occur when individuals are hit in the head, the reality is that even a car accident can lead to a TBI. What can occur during whiplash is that the rapid deceleration or acceleration of the car in a different direction causes the brain to move rapidly in the skull. This can lead to the brain bouncing off opposite ends in what is known as a coup contrecoup injury.
Suffice to say, football players are not the only individuals who can suffer from a severe TBI.
3. Children are able to heal faster from a TBI.
It is believed that children heal faster because of their youth, but this myth poses as one of the most dangerous myths out there.
Because of the complexity of the human brain, new research shows that a child (between birth and 5-years old) who suffers from TBI may have more long-term challenges as the developing brain grows from the previously damaged area.
Because the child is still growing, it can be difficult recognizing what impairments have occurred until years down the road.
4. The effects of a TBI are immediate.
Medical studies have shown that biochemical changes in the brain can occur over the course of several days. This means that the effects of a TBI are not immediately noticeable and may not become fully visible until the individual begins to resume their usual routine.
Again, family members of an individual who has suffered a TBI should not fail to seek medical attention just because they believe the victim is in good physical condition.
5. A mild TBI is not that serious.
The reality is that TBIs, whether mild or traumatic, affect every individual differently. While most individuals will be able to recover and go back to their traditional way of living, 15 to 25 percent of mild TBI sufferers will have long-lasting challenges as a result of the injury.
Unfortunately, because TBI does not always come with physical symptoms, many TBI victims may have difficulty proving their injuries and cognitive issues. An undiagnosed injury can result in an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, interrelationship issues, and many more social behavioral issues.
6. A negative from a diagnostic test means no brain injury.
Diagnostic testing such as an MRI or CT-Scan can prove to be vital in understanding whether or not a patient has suffered a TBI, but they are not always 100% accurate. Microscopic damage can be missed by diagnostic tests and may be used by insurance agencies to deny a claim.
A negative test does NOT prove that the brain has suffered no injury. Victims of a TBI should seek medical attention from qualified specialists like neurologists who can help them in determining whether or not they have suffered a TBI without the use of an MRI or CT-Scan.
7. If the brain injury was serious, the sufferer would have been in the hospital for longer.
Recovery – just like the amount of damage sustained from a TBI – varies from patient to patient. Rehabilitation can also be affected by economic constraints, and thus the amount of time spent in a hospital does not equate to the amount of time needed for complete recovery.
For many individuals with moderate to severe TBIs, recovery can be an ongoing process that can last years. Of course, the individual is not likely to remain in the hospital during that entire duration of time. Families and friends dealing with a loved one with a TBI should not make predictions or judgments about the progress of the individual.
Have you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury? You do not have to face the darkness alone. Contact Cardone Law Firm today if you have questions regarding the legal aspects of your traumatic brain injury.
At the Cardone Law Firm, we are committed to collaborative research, partnering with the best scholars and physicians to ensure our clients receive the best medical treatment and legal representation possible. A head and brain injury case requires the skill of an experienced and well-respected attorney.
Reach out to Hannah Salter or Cliff Cardone of the Cardone Law Firm at 504-522-3333 for your free legal consultation today.