Motorcyclists are at risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) when involved in any collision or accident causing a sudden impact to the head. This includes front, side, or rear-end collisions, but another vehicle does not have to be involved in the incident for the motorcyclist to suffer serious physical harm. Brain injury can occur in instances where the rider is forced off the road or into a skin run that causes impact with the road surface.
Concussions are brain injuries by a blow or jolt to the head and may have mild to severe consequences. The individual may lose consciousness immediately, or symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks. If you have received a blow to the head and experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Persistent headache or neck pain
- Issues with balance
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Changes in mood or sleep patterns
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Emergency treatment for a brain injury focuses on saving the patient’s life and stopping any bleeding inside the head. This may require surgery to release pressure from the accumulation of fluids or to remove bone fragments, with a potential for necessary follow-up procedures. These measures are not only intended to repair existing damage, but to minimize further harm and impairment.
Patients are typically monitored in the hospital’s neurological unit before transfer to a rehabilitation or other specialty facility. Brain damage is irreversible, but often much of the function that is originally lost can be recovered through a combination of therapies including physical, speech, and occupational.
Brain injury patients can learn new skills and adaptive strategies for accomplishing daily living functions, as well as improving motor and cognitive functioning. Depending on the success and rate of recovery patients may be released to go home or to a residential nursing facility. Even at home, however, they will likely continue to require assistive services.
An experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the needs of TBI patients can assist the client in obtaining a life-care plan, which is a sort of road map of the patient’s future needs for healthcare and other costs associated with living with TBI.
Trying the TBI Case
Cases involving TBI cannot be handled like a typical personal injury lawsuit. The complex medical issues involved require a lawyer who is experienced in handling this type of case. For instance, obtaining the correct diagnosis and prognosis are essential to determining the value of the case and in identifying how much the plaintiff should recover.
The initial injury and acute treatment phase may not reveal the true extent of the injury. Further diagnostic tests may be required, including functional MRIs, CT or CAT scans, EEGs, SPECT and PET scans. Some of these tests may not automatically be covered by health insurance without the assistance of an aggressive advocate in your corner.
In addition to neurologic testing, a battery of neuropsychological testing by a qualified neuropsychologist may be necessary to determine the impact of the TBI on cognition, mood, memory, and intelligence. A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with specific expertise in the relationship between behavior and ability as they relate to specific areas and structures of the brain.
The timing of neuropsychological testing is critical to obtaining a proper evaluation. Early testing and over-testing can result in an improper diagnosis regarding the nature of the injury. It is therefore important that an experienced attorney be consulted in conjunction with any further diagnostic testing that may be necessary.
Contact Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group fights for the rights of people who have suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Even when helmets are worn, motorcyclists are still particularly susceptible to head and brain injuries from collisions and other accidents, and the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group works to see that accident victims are fairly compensated for these permanent injuries and life-long disabilities.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, contact the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group to get started on the road to recovery.
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