How widespread is depression among the victims of TBI – traumatic brain injury? Researchers tell us that in the general population, about ten percent of us struggle with depression, but almost a third of traumatic brain injury patients – thirty percent – suffer from depression.
What steps should you take if a traumatic brain injury happens? What are the consequences and symptoms of a brain injury? How should TBI victims deal with depression? How can an Atlanta personal injury lawyer help? You’re about to learn those answers and more.
Anyone could sustain a blow to the head, so all of us are at risk for TBI. If you suffer any blow to the head, you must have medical attention immediately. Even a mild concussion, if it remains undetected or undiagnosed, could swiftly become a serious medical condition.
WHAT STEPS MUST BE TAKEN AFTER A BRAIN INJURY?
If you’ve sustained a brain injury in the Atlanta area because another person was negligent, after you’ve been seen by a doctor, it is imperative to speak with a personal injury attorney.
In the state of Georgia, the injured victims of negligence are entitled by law to full compensation for their current and future accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain, and suffering, and all other related losses and damages.
Brain injuries happen more often than you may think. Approximately 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries are sustained every year in the U.S. The risk for depression after a brain injury rises without regard to the severity of the injury.
WHY ARE TBI VICTIMS AT A HIGHER RISK FOR DEPRESSION?
Researchers cannot find any particular link among brain injury patients who suffer depression that distinguishes them from the TBI patients who do not.
In other words, we know that brain injury victims are more likely to struggle with depression than the rest of us, but we do not know precisely why.
The impact of a traumatic brain injury is different for every victim. Some TBI patients experience almost no detectable symptoms, but most TBI patients will have at least a bit of difficulty with memory, sleep, and concentration.
It’s imperative to understand that depression typically – and usually temporarily – sets in after a personal crisis like a job loss, a divorce, a loved one’s death – or a serious injury. Temporary depression in such circumstances is natural and normal – not a sign of failure or weakness.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK HELP FOR TBI-RELATED DEPRESSION?
However, if a TBI patient becomes obsessed or preoccupied with depression, professional help should be sought at once. Depression is easier to treat in its earliest stages.
The usual symptoms of TBI are sleep difficulties, headaches, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, and intermittent memory loss. With a mild and properly treated brain injury, these symptoms will fade in just weeks.
However, when a brain injury is more serious, these symptoms may linger for weeks, months, or years.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF TBI-RELATED DEPRESSION?
Depression linked to TBI is treatable. It’s important for brain injury patients to talk with their healthcare providers regarding any signs of depression that arise subsequent to a brain injury – even if those signs emerge months after the initial injury took place. What are those signs?
1. a constant feeling of hopelessness or sadness
2. eating significantly less – or more – than you previously ate
3. little or no interest in friends, family, hobbies, travel, or entertainment
4. significantly higher consumption of alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, or other substances
5. sleeping intermittently, and significantly less – or more – than you previously slept
HOW IS BRAIN INJURY-RELATED DEPRESSION TREATED?
Medication or counseling – and usually both – is the treatment for depression. When the TBI patient has no previous history of depression or mental illness, counseling may only be necessary for several months.
Several antidepressants are prescribed for helping brain injury patients deal with depression. Everyone is unique, so antidepressants may be required temporarily – or much longer.
If you are a brain injury patient or if you are caring for a brain injury patient, make absolutely sure that all of the healthcare providers you work with know about each of the medications you’re using. Always have a doctor explain the potential side effects of the medications.
CAN YOU BE COMPENSATED FOR A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
Whether or not you can be compensated for a brain injury depends on the way that the injury occurred. Brain injuries are usually caused by another person’s negligence in a traffic accident, a sports-related accident, or a slip-and-fall accident.
Here in Georgia, if you sustain a traumatic brain injury in an accident because another person was negligent, discuss your legal rights and options – which may include filing a personal injury lawsuit – as quickly as possible with a qualified personal injury attorney.
WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF NEGLIGENCE VICTIMS IN GEORGIA?
Any legal action arising from a traumatic brain injury will depend on how that injury occurred. When another person’s negligence causes a brain injury, that injury victim has the legal right to be compensated for all injury-related medical costs, lost wages, and other damages.
If you or a person you love suffers a brain injury because another person was negligent or careless, it is imperative for you to reach out immediately to an attorney who has substantial personal injury experience.
A severe brain injury may qualify the victim for a considerable damage award – provided that the victim and his or her attorney can prove the injury claim.
The most serious traumatic brain injuries require multiple surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, and counseling that may be needed for years. A successful personal injury lawsuit can offer the families of TBI victims the resources they will require for the medical care they need.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION?
If someone else’s negligence caused a traumatic brain injury, let an experienced accident lawyer help. You must act quickly. The state of Georgia sets a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.
But you cannot wait two years and then scramble to file a lawsuit at the last minute. The sooner you put a trustworthy attorney on the case, the more likely it is that your lawsuit will prevail.
If you were injured in an accident of any kind, your attorney will need to examine the evidence immediately and question the witnesses while their memories are fresh.
Don’t be intimidated by the courts or by the idea of a lawsuit. If you or someone you love is a TBI victim, compensation is your right, and so is the help of a good accident attorney. If you need legal help to win compensation, get that help at once. Your future may depend on it.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.