What Are the Long-Term Effects of a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that affects the way the brain works. TBIs can be mild, moderate, or severe. Those who suffer from mild TBIs may be able to recover safely at home, but unfortunately, a moderate or severe TBI can lead to long-term health complications.

If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI in Arkansas recently, or are suffering from long-term complications from an injury, an attorney can help you seek financial compensation so you can focus on getting better.

Get in touch with an attorney at Minton Law Firm by calling our Little Rock office at 501-794-0001. You can also reach us by filling out the online form on our website.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A TBI is an injury to the head that results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. A TBI can also result from an object penetrating the skull and brain.  

Cerebrospinal fluid in your skull cushions and protects your brain from everyday bumps and jolts. Violent trauma to your head, neck, or body can cause your brain to move forcefully against the inner walls of your skull, damaging it and affecting its functions.

Common causes of TBIs

Falls and motor vehicle crashes are the most common causes of TBI-related hospitalizations. Other causes include:

  • Firearm-related injury or suicide
  • Assault
  • High-risk sports injuries
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
  • Physical abuse
  • Combat duty as a soldier

Symptoms of TBI

Traumatic brain injuries are usually categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. How a TBI is categorized may depend on the length of time an injured person is unconscious, the severity of their symptoms, or other factors. 

Symptoms of a minor TBI, also called a concussion, can include:

  • Bleeding from the injury
  • Dizziness 
  • Temporary loss of consciousness (a few seconds to a few minutes)
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Temporary short-term memory loss
  • Loss of equilibrium

A moderate or severe TBI may present more severe versions of the same symptoms. They may also include symptoms such as:

  • Prolonged loss of consciousness or coma (several minutes to hours)
  • Uncontrolled vomiting or nausea
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired cognition
  • Slurred speech
  • Clear fluids draining from nose or ears

Long-Term Effects of TBI

Most people who suffer from a mild TBI can completely recover anywhere from one to six weeks after the injury. However, a person with a history of repeated concussions or multiple mild TBIs may experience more long-term effects like ongoing problems with concentration or memory, balance and coordination, or headaches.

Post-concussion syndrome

Someone who suffers from any type of TBI —mild, moderate, or severe — may experience persistent physical, mental, and emotional symptoms in a condition known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). PCS symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or feeling “unlike yourself.”

Physical and emotional changes

A moderate or severe TBI can lead to physical complications in a person. The following symptoms may be present for a few weeks to several months after a TBI:

  • Seizures
  • Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus)
  • Meningitis, or infections in the layers of protective tissues (meninges), that surround the brain
  • Blood vessel damage, which can lead to stroke or blood clots
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Cranial nerve damage from a TBI at the base of the skull, which can lead to facial muscle paralysis, loss of sensation, loss of vision, and more

Emotional complications can arise from a TBI, too. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, anger, insomnia, and irritability are common emotional complications.

Cognitive and communicative changes

A significant TBI can change a person’s cognitive function and thinking skills. Cognitive changes can affect skills and functions such as:

  • Memory 
  • Learning
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Attention or concentration
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Planning and organization
  • Beginning or completing tasks

Certain parts of the brain such as the temporal lobe or the frontal lobe, when damaged, can experience negative effects on communication and social skills. A TBI may affect a person’s communication skills, leading to symptoms like:

  • Difficulty speaking or writing, or understanding speech or writing
  • Problems organizing thoughts or ideas
  • Problems following or participating in conversation
  • Inability reading and understanding conversational cues or nonverbal signals
  • Trouble taking turns or selecting topics in conversation
  • Difficulty reading and understanding facial expressions

Every TBI, in its symptoms, severity, treatment, and long-term effects, is unique. One person may experience short-term symptoms and completely recover in weeks or months. Another may have long-term or lifelong effects from their TBI.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI due to someone else’s carelessness, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. While compensation may not help you fully recover from a traumatic event, it can help you handle current and future medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

At Minton Law Firm, we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights so you can heal and move forward with your life. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office at 501-794-0001 or fill out the online form on our website.

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