Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a type of injury to the brain caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head. Often TBIs are categorized as ranging from mild to severe, depending on the amount of damage done to the brain. Also, the effects of a TBI can range from mild and temporary to life-altering and can cause physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments. According to the CDC, approximately 176 Americans died from TBI-related injuries each day in 2020. Additionally, more than 223,000 hospitalizations from traumatic brain injuries occurred in 2019 alone. This is an indication that TBI can be a severe and life-altering condition.
In this article, we will discuss TBI’s effects on physical and cognitive functioning and the potential psychological impacts. We will also explore the potential treatments for TBI and how victims may seek financial compensation for their injuries.
Symptoms and effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
Common physical symptoms associated with TBI include:
- Changes in vision or hearing
- Balance and coordination problems
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
Long-term physical effects may include chronic pain, fatigue, impaired mobility, and difficulty with speaking.
Emotional and behavioral changes can emerge due to damage in the brain’s prefrontal cortex regulating emotion. Emotional symptoms of TBI may include:
- Anger or irritability
- Anxiety or depression
- Mood swings
- Impulsivity or poor judgment
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Lack of motivation
When seen in a loved one who has suffered from a TBI, these behaviors can be challenging to cope with and may require specialized care.
Short-term cognitive impairments may include:
- Memory loss
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment and decision-making skills
- Slowed thinking speed or response time
More cognitive issues may involve a permanent decrease in mental abilities such as problem-solving, learning new material, and planning tasks.
Long-term impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury
Even with structural alterations and functional impairments, traumatic brain injury survivors can experience permanent or long-term impacts. Some of these long-term effects include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Impaired movement
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Additionally, TBI can cause fatigue that lasts for months or years after the injury occurs – this leaves survivors struggling to maintain their normal lifestyle and find relief from symptoms. Unfortunately, no two traumatic brain injuries are identical; for many people, these long-term effects are difficult to predict or effectively treat.
Treatment options available
Often, a comprehensive treatment plan is tailored to the patient’s needs depending on their particular type of injury and severity.
- Physical therapy: This can help improve mobility and balance and reduce muscle spasms.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to alleviate pressure on the brain or repair skull fractures.
- Occupational therapy: It is used to help individuals relearn activities of daily living that the injury may have disrupted.
- Psychological therapy: This treatment focuses on helping individuals adjust to any emotional and behavioral changes caused by the injury. Also, it helps address any mental issues and stress management that the trauma may have caused.
- Speech and language therapy: It entails helping individuals with language and communication deficits and memory and concentration issues.
- Support groups: These provide a great source of emotional support for individuals affected by traumatic brain injury.
- Medications: These can help manage symptoms such as pain, seizures, or depression resulting from a TBI. In addition, medications such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants may be prescribed for individuals to aid in their recovery.
The best way to help someone with a Traumatic brain injury is to use different treatments together for some time. This will be different for each person, depending on what they need. With the right help, people with Traumatic brain injury can live happy and meaningful lives.
Financial compensation for Traumatic Brain Injury
The financial burden associated with TBI can be immense. Medical bills for hospitalizations, surgeries, and ongoing treatments can add up quickly. Additionally, there may be lost wages due to disability caused by the injury. Fortunately, options are available to help individuals cope financially with a traumatic brain injury.
- Insurance: Depending on the type of insurance and coverage, individuals may be eligible for financial assistance.
- Workers’ compensation: This insurance program provides medical benefits and wage replacement for workers injured on the job.
- Legal settlement: In some cases, those affected by TBI may get a legal settlement from a third party responsible for the injury. Such settlements should be $100,000 at minimum.
- Government aid: Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals may qualify for government programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
Resources for Individuals Suffering a TBI in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The following organizations can be resourceful in helping individuals seek out compensation for their TBI in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Brain Injury Association of America: The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is a national organization dedicated to advancing brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education. BIAA offers support programs for individuals affected by TBI and those who care for them.
- Tulsa Behavioral Health: This organization provides comprehensive services and treatment to individuals living with the effects of a TBI and their families and loved ones. They provide counseling, education programs, support groups, and resources to assist individuals in managing their symptoms.
- Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services: This organization offers vocational rehabilitation, independent living services, and supported employment services to individuals affected by TBI. They also provide financial assistance for expenses associated with a TBI, such as medical bills, medication, and transportation costs.
- United Way of Tulsa County: United Way of Tulsa County provides programs that support individuals affected by TBI, including connecting them with local resources, providing financial assistance for medical expenses, and offering support programs.
- Tulsa County Bar Association: The Tulsa County Bar Association offers free legal consultations to those affected by TBI. They help individuals pursue compensation from insurance companies or the state if they are eligible and assist in filing disability claims.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be lifelong and severely debilitating. It is essential for individuals affected by TBI to seek available resources that provide financial compensation, treatment, and other support to assist them in managing their symptoms. With the right help and support, individuals affected by TBI can begin to manage their symptoms and regain control of their lives.
For more information about services and support for individuals affected by TBI in Tulsa, Oklahoma, feel free to reach out to the mentioned resources. Contact us or call us at 918-359-6600 for a free consultation.