According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 225,000 people are hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States each year. As many as two million more people suffer mild or moderate concussions.
A concussion can cause long-term physical, mental, and emotional impairments. It is a notoriously difficult injury to treat. At the same time, there are proactive steps that a person can take after sustaining a concussion TBI to protect their health, well-being, and ability to bring a legal claim.
Step #1: Get immediate medical attention
All head injuries require immediate medical attention. If a person is showing any signs of a concussion, they need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only are concussions challenging to diagnose, but these injuries frequently occur with a delayed onset. It is very common for a person who suffered a concussion to feel worse 24, 48, or even 72 hours after the incident than they did in the immediate aftermath. Here are some signs that suggest a person may have sustained a TBI:
- Pressure in the head
- Painful headache
- Feeling of dizziness or nausea
- Dilation of the pupils
- Short-term memory loss
- Disorientation or confusion
- Loss of consciousness, even if brief
Step #2: Document the accident
To the best of your ability, you should try to proactively document the accident that led to the concussion/suspected concussion. This is important for two reasons:
- First, making sure that you have a clear understanding of exactly what happened will be useful information for doctors and other medical professionals. It may help them to better understand the blow to the head so that they can develop the most effective treatment plan.
- Additionally, if a person suffered a concussion or TBI because of careless or reckless conduct of another, they may have a legal claim. Personal injury claims are fault-based cases – meaning the plaintiff (injured victim) will need evidence that establishes the defendant’s culpability.
Step #3: Seek the proper physical and psychological rehabilitative care
Concussions are challenging injuries because they can often have long-term physical and psychological effects on the victim. The right rehabilitative care and support can make a dramatic difference in the recovery process. It is essential that anyone who sustained a concussion – even a seemingly minor or moderate concussion – gets access to the rehabilitative care that they need.
Step #4: Consult with an experienced brain injury attorney
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim for a traumatic brain injury, a skilled attorney can make a major difference. You and your family do not need to go through the personal injury process alone. Defendants and insurance companies fight aggressively to protect their own interests; they are not going to look out for injured victims, even after a catastrophic accident. An experienced brain injury lawyer can review your case, answer questions, explain the law, investigate the accident, and gather the evidence that you and your family need to get justice and fair financial compensation.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.