March is brain injury awareness month. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can devastate entire families. Many times, the person suffering a brain injury looks fine. Yet, their personality, emotional state and cognitive function can be greatly affected. Some brain injury victims and their families struggle to cope with the changes in personality and mental ability. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths. Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.
In my law practice, I encourage family involvement in the healing and coping process. I also believe it essential for the injured person to see qualified medical specialists. Within the medical community, many healthcare professionals lack the training or experience necessary to understand these complex injuries. I’ve seen many cases where doctors initially ignored significant symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury.