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The 411 on traumatic brain injuries

After suffering some type of blow to the head in an accident here in Colorado, your doctor told you that you suffered a traumatic brain injury. Your doctor may have been so busy trying to devise a treatment plan for you that he or she failed to provide you with some basic information regarding the diagnosis.

You may be the type of person who needs to understand as much as possible about what is happening to you in order to alleviate your anxiety. Below is some basic information about traumatic brain injuries that may help you understand your injury better, along with what it could mean for the rest of your life.

How did your doctor classify your TBI?

Did your doctor say you have a closed head injury or an open head injury? While both types of TBI come with serious repercussions to your health and life, the following fundamental differences exist between the two:

  • Closed head injury: In this type of TBI, there may not be any outward signs. Instead, some force caused your brain to slam into the skull. Often, the brain does not only impact one part of the skull. It bounces off one side and then the other. This could occur from a blow to the head, but it can also occur from a whipping motion that occurs in an event such as a car accident.
  • Open head injury: In this type of TBI, there are outward signs of injury that sometimes increase the fear and stress involved because head wounds tend to bleed profusely. The primary dangers of this injury involve pieces of the skull getting lodged in the brain. Due to the delicacy of the brain, removing those fragments could be problematic.

Surgery could be required in either case depending on the situation. Swelling of the brain is often an enemy when it comes to TBIs. If the brain has nowhere to go as it swells, it will push against the skull, which could cause further damage. Relieving the pressure on your brain becomes a priority and may involve removing a portion of your skull to provide an escape for the pressure and any possible bleeding as well.

No two TBIs are alike

The aftermath of a TBI is different for everyone. One thing that seems to be the same in everyone, however, is a feeling of not being the same person as before the injury. This can cause intense frustration, along with other emotions. Fortunately, approximately 85 percent of TBI victims fully recover, but how long that will take depends on the severity and type of injury. If you fall into the other 15 percent, you could experience lifelong repercussions that could affect the rest of your life.

What happens now?

If another person caused the accident that led to your injury, you may be able to receive compensation for the medical bills, lost wages and other financial losses you incurred since the accident. An insurance company may offer you a seemingly attractive settlement, but it may not be beneficial for you to accept it. At the time you receive the offer, you may not know what the future holds for you and your life.

It may be better to take the time to determine whether the offer will cover not only your current financial needs but any that you may have in the future. More often than not, the insurance company will not give you the compensation you deserve or need.

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