Medically, brain injuries are classified as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe.” However, that terminology can be misleading, as even a brain injury classified as “mild” can have significant, even lifelong, effects. Because some symptoms and deficits associated with brain injuries are difficult to quantify and are not necessarily immediately apparent, it can be difficult to secure appropriate medical care and fair compensation. A New York brain injury attorney can be your best resource after a serious head injury.
Brain Injury Classifications
Severe Brain Injuries
Severe brain injuries most often result from a crush injury or a penetrating head wound, though a closed-head injury may also result in several brain injury. Typically, a severe brain injury will require a significant period of hospitalization, followed by rehabilitation. Most victims of severe brain injury are left with permanent symptoms and/or impairment, though the degree of recovery and ability to return to productive life varies.
Moderate Brain Injuries
A moderate brain injury often involves a loss of consciousness, which last more than a few seconds but no more than a few hours. After a moderate brain injury, impairment may last for weeks or months, or may even be permanent. However, even those with permanent impairments are typically able to rehabilitate sufficiently to move forward with their lives.
Mild Brain Injuries
Mild brain injury is poorly understood, although medical science in this area has advanced significantly in the past few years. A person who suffers a mild brain injury may not lose consciousness, or may lose consciousness for only a few seconds or a minute or two. Diagnosis can be difficult and inconsistent in mild brain injury cases, and some impairments are not obvious during the initial assessment.
In many mild brain injury cases, a CT scan or MRI will not show damage. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no injury, or that the injury isn’t serious. Rather, the difficulty stems from the fact that this type of imaging often misses injury to the connections in the brain.
Brain Injury Testing
More sensitive testing is possible, but is not often employed in the event of a relatively mild head injury. These include:
- Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan)
- Diffuse Tensor Imaging (DTI)
However, these tests are not routinely administered in the case of a head injury that appears relatively minor. Rather, this type of assessment generally occurs only after reported symptoms or observed impairments indicate that further testing is required.
Receiving Fair Compensation in a Brain Injury Case
Establishing damages when you’ve suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence can be complex and challenging. This is especially true when the brain injury wasn’t immediately diagnosed, or symptoms emerge over time. However, brain injury at any level can result in ongoing symptoms such as:
- Mood changes
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Vision problems
If you’ve suffered a brain injury, it is in your best interests to work with an experienced brain injury attorney to secure the compensation you need to ensure appropriate medical care and adapt for any lost income or reduction in earning capacity.
Talk to a New York Brain Injury Attorney
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