Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by severe damage to the brain tissue. The patient suffering from TBI has to cope with the significant changes in their life, like increased medical expenses, loss of quality life, loss of income, emotional and physical pain, suffering, etc. A recovering TBI patient has to compensate for many things to lead an everyday life. Rehabilitation therapy helps the patient to recover and improve any limitations or disabilities caused by TBI.
Effects of TBI on the life and home environment post-injury
The effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) depends on the damage caused to the patient. The different disabilities or limitations caused by this injury depend on the affected area of the brain. The various disabilities caused by TBI include lack of coordination of hand and leg movement, impaired speech, loss of hearing, altered vision, fatigue, weakness, altered thinking capabilities, loss of memory, issues related to reasoning and problem-solving, emotional disability, etc. TBI also disturbs the family life of the patients. The TBI survivor can apply for compensation if the defendant causes the injury.
Barriers for medical care after suffering from a traumatic brain injury
The condition of the TBI survivors plays a crucial role in defining their legal competency. The legal barriers depend on the patient’s situation if the survivor can make his/her own decisions regarding the treatment and medical care or has to depend on the family member to decide for him/her.
An incompetent patient cannot manage the regular chores. This type of patient should have a guardian appointed to make significant decisions on their behalf. A legal document of power of attorney gives the legal rights to the guardian. These legal actions need to be taken immediately if the injured person owns or runs a business or property.
Common misconceptions about TBI
Several misconceptions revolving around TBI include:
- There is no TBI if there is no loss of consciousness: But in reality, losing consciousness depends on the severity of the injury. The mild injury does not lead to loss of consciousness, but the patient can experience confusion, dazed, or disorientation. In such cases, the injury may be minor, like tissue bruising or tearing.
- Sustaining TBI involves hitting the head, and it is caused because of severe head injury: However, the truth about TBI is that it can be caused even by a powerful shock that slams the brain back and forth, causing injury to the brain tissue.
- Effects of TBI are seen immediately: The symptoms of TBI don’t need to be observed immediately. Certain changes, like loss of cognitive abilities, decrease with time.
- Using a helmet prevents brain injury: A helmet can prevent or reduce head injury caused by accidents or from falling into heavy objects. Brain injury can be caused not only while driving, but can also be caused by a fall while walking, playing sports, or any other activity.
- Patients with TBI will show steady recovery: The patient’s recovery depends on the severity of the injury, age, health condition, etc. Each patient takes their own time for recovery.
Understanding the medical-legal issues of TBI
The TBI survivor has all the rights to have an everyday life. In this situation, the patient’s family, relatives, friends, colleagues can support them to gain their confidence. In addition, counseling helps the patients train themselves with the limitations or disabilities caused by the TBI. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also considers disabled persons and gives them the right to return to work and the employer to make accommodations for the TBI survivor to work efficiently.
The right time to contact an attorney about a traumatic brain injury case
The patient or the guardian can approach the attorney if the negligent act of another person causes the injury. The attorney can help get the compensation for the injury and insurance claims for most accidents or injuries. In the case of TBI, depending on the patient’s condition, the insurance company sometimes rejects the insurance claim. In such a case, the patient or guardian can approach the attorney to fight for their claim.
How to find an attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injury cases?
In general, different attorneys have the specialization for handling various types of cases. However, only some attorneys have the expertise for handling claims for personal injury. The attorney’s skills and experience in handling such claims play an essential role in handling the claims. Certain attorneys have the expertise in neurolaw. They have the basic idea of understanding the special needs of the person with TBI.
The attorney who understands the TBI and related legal issues can help with the compensation to be received from the person/company at fault or if the insurance company rejects or denies the payment of the insurance amount. To address the medical-legal issues of TBI, hiring an attorney is the best move.