Thousands of people suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Unfortunately, the most common cause of a TBI is car accidents. When cars crash into each other at moderate or high speeds, victims may jolt around inside the vehicle, causing them to hit their heads against the car’s interior or to get hit by flying objects. Additionally, another common cause of traumatic brain injury is playing sports. Those who play contact sports like football or soccer are more prone to suffering a TBI, whether temporarily or long-term. While most people who receive treatment recover, it is possible for your brain injury to worsen over time.
If your TBI results from someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek legal compensation. An experienced California traumatic brain injury attorney can help you better understand TBIs and how to pursue a claim against the negligent party.
What Is a TBI?
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as any disruption to normal brain function. It can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Remember, you do not have to hit your head to sustain one. Everyone is at risk for a head injury, especially younger children and the elderly.
Do Brain Injuries Worsen Over Time?
Head injury victims are vulnerable to permanent changes in emotional and cognitive behaviors. Various factors influence the likelihood of a TBI worsening over time, such as:
- Trauma type and severity
- Prior health history
- Injury diagnosis
- Follow-up medical care
People who do not show any symptoms are more likely to have their injuries worsen because they have not consulted with a doctor and had their TBI diagnosed. This is one of the main reasons to seek medical attention as soon as possible after suffering a car or slip and fall accident. A doctor can perform a thorough exam to diagnose internal injuries properly and get you on a path to recovery.
Doctors who help people with TBI believe that two primary factors cause TBIs to worsen over time–– secondary injuries and chemical changes.
Secondary Brain Injuries
Secondary brain injuries are complications that arise after the initial injury, including hematomas and infections. These injuries might cut off blood flow or circulation to certain parts of the brain, killing neurons. However, the effects of a brain cell’s death are not always immediate, which could explain why some people with a brain injury appear to decline as time progresses.
Harmful chemical events in the brain after head trauma might also explain why someone with a TBI declines in health. For example, these injuries often lead to an excess of neurotransmitters, which can overstimulate brain cells and cause cell death.
How to Prevent a TBI from Worsening
While doctors might not know what causes some patients to worsen over time, they know that certain approaches to treating traumatic brain injuries encourage recovery. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, turn your attention to recovery and follow these steps.
- Participate in therapy: The number one thing you can do to prevent a brain injury from declining is to actively participate in rehabilitative therapies, including physical, speech, and occupational. These three therapy options keep your body and mind active, which is crucial for maintaining health.
- Activate neuroplasticity: Neuroplasticity is the mechanism the brain uses to form new neural pathways that allow the healthy part of your brain to take over the damaged parts. Activate neuroplasticity through repetition of an activity. With enough practice, your brain will relearn the action, improving your condition.
- Stimulate your brain: Stimulating your brain through puzzles, cognitive exercises, art, and music therapy can aid in recovery. The more you stimulate the brain, the more it produces neurotrophic growth factors that create new nerve cells.
While these are great ways to increase your brain function on your own, it is essential to remember you do not have to go through recovery by yourself. Brain injury support groups can connect you with people experiencing the same thing, which may prevent depression and isolation feelings. Connecting with others can also help keep you motivated throughout recovery, so your injuries do not worsen.
Seek Compensation with the Help of a California Brain Injury Attorney
Recovery from a brain injury can be expensive. Medical appointments and physical therapies can quickly cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, on top of bills for any property damage. When another person’s negligence causes this, contact the brain injury attorneys at Setareh Law. Our attorneys will work with you one-on-one to better understand the accident and work to obtain the compensation needed to cover accident-related expenses. To schedule a free consultation, call (310) 659-1826 or complete our online contact form.