Long-Term Effects of “Mild” Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury is one of the most serious types of injuries possible in accidents in California. There is no such thing as a trivial brain injury. Every traumatic brain injury, even those diagnosed as mild, can have severe ramifications for a victim. The symptoms of a mild brain injury could last for weeks, months or even years.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impact a victim’s physical abilities and motor function. A TBI can lead to debilitating physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness or seizures, that interfere with a victim’s ability to perform daily tasks and work. A mild TBI can also cause long-term motor function disabilities, such as cerebral palsy in an infant. A more severe TBI could lead to unconsciousness, coma or death.
A mild TBI may have the power to interfere with how a patient moves, walks, talks, chews food and swallows. It can also cause infertility, incontinence or loss of bowel control. Finally, a mild traumatic brain injury could interfere with a patient’s senses, leading to changes in sight, hearing, sensations, taste and smell. Many TBI victims note increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well.
A TBI could take away a victim’s ability to work, play sports, pick up a child, hold things or use fine motor skills. It can lead to significant lost quality or enjoyment of life. With physical therapy and rehabilitation, a patient with a mild TBI may be able to restore lost or damaged motor skills. Severe TBIs, however, can cause permanent physical disabilities for a victim.
A mild traumatic brain injury can affect a victim more than just physically. Damage, swelling or bleeding in the brain can also cause significant cognitive challenges. A TBI may cause long-term cognitive problems for a victim, such as trouble with math or reasoning, memory loss, confusion, disorientation, communication, language skills, attention deficits, perception, and concentration. An infant or toddler who suffers a mild TBI is also at risk of delays in developmental growth.
Even a “mild” TBI can impact the way the brain functions enough to have a noticeable effect on behavior, personality and mood. Some of the most common behavioral changes for a victim with a traumatic brain injury are:
- Anger or irritability
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Regression in a toddler
- Poor performance in school in a child
A TBI victim may notice subtle or pronounced behavioral changes based on the severity of the brain injury. Some victims turn to substances such as drugs and alcohol to cope with these effects.
Mental and Emotional Effects
Victims with traumatic brain injuries can experience many mental and emotional problems related to the accident or injury itself. From post-traumatic stress disorder to psychosis, a mild TBI could lead to many mental, emotional and psychological changes.
Common psychological symptoms connected to a mild TBI are depression, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, fear, flashbacks, nightmares and progressive dementia. Although therapy and medications can help a patient cope with the nonphysical effects of a TBI, they can still impact the victim for a long time.
What to Do as a Patient With a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
If a doctor in Sacramento has recently diagnosed you with a mild traumatic brain injury, discuss your legal options with a Sacramento brain injury attorney near you. The person or party responsible for causing your mild TBI may be financially responsible for your past and future medical bills, as well as the other losses connected to your brain injury.
The financial compensation you could receive can help you move forward with greater financial stability and peace of mind. A successful lawsuit could also hold a negligent or careless party accountable for his or her actions. Consult with a lawyer today for legal advice.