Each year, more than one million Americans of all ages are admitted to emergency departments with symptoms of concussions or other mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs). Most are treated and released the same day. But will these victims experience ongoing cognitive problems over the long term? And what difference, if any, do the victims’ ages make when it comes to MTBI?
At Neale & Fhima, we help people in Southern California who have suffered head injuries in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. We represent MTBI victims young and old, but the goal is always the same – to secure enough financial compensation to put our clients on the road to recovery. Contact us now to learn more.
What is MTBI?
The term MTBI refers to mild traumatic brain injury. But characterizing these injuries as minor may be misleading. MTBIs, like all brain injuries, are extremely serious. They result when a blow, jolt, shaking, or other trauma to the head causes the victim to experience symptoms such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Slowness of thought
- Memory lapse
- Oversensitivity to light and sound
- Headache, dizziness, irritability, mood swings
- Loss of sense of smell
- Depressed mood.
The onset of symptoms is usually immediate and can last for up to 30 minutes. It may also be delayed for days or weeks, however, making diagnosis difficult. One reason for delay in reporting MTBI symptoms is that victims are disoriented in thought. In other instances, victims or observers may choose not to report a concussion, as commonly occurs in the sports world.
Long-Term Consequences of a Head Injury
People tend to think of a concussion as an event. But for some victims, the injury is not an event, but rather a condition. Chronic symptoms like those listed above can lead to a significant deterioration in the accident victim’s quality of life. Victims may find it difficult to emotionally connect with friends and family. They may have trouble sleeping, remembering things, or holding a job. They may also be at an increased risk of suicide – a study published last year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that MTBI victims are three times more likely to take their own life.
The Victim’s Age Makes a Difference
Age is an important factor in determining the likelihood of suffering an MTBI. Age also affects how the victim’s brain responds to the injury and whether a complete recovery is possible. The following age groups are particularly at risk:
- Children – MTBIs can cause serious harm to young children because the injury comes at a time when the victim’s brain is still developing. Sadly, abuse is one of the causes of injury in this age group, including physical abuse by childcare providers.
- Adolescents – Organized sports are popular among teens in the United States. According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, 462,000 boys and 337,000 girls participated in school sports during the 2016-2017 school year. The most popular sport of all? Football – a game in which head-to-head collisions occur by design.
- Seniors – Adults over the age of 65 are the most likely to require hospitalization following a head injury. Victims in this age group are also the slowest to recover. Because falling down is the most common cause of MTBI among the elderly, concerned individuals should take steps to prevent falls in the home.
Contact an MTBI Lawyer in Orange County
The fact that concussions are classified as “minor” brain injuries does not make them any less dangerous. As discussed, young people and senior citizens face the greatest risk. But one of the most common causes of MTBIs – automobile collisions – can impact individuals of any age. Do not take chances following an accident. If you or a family member may have suffered an MTBI, seek medical attention and then contact an attorney with experience handling brain injury accident cases. The attorneys of Neale & Fhima are available to speak with you now. Call (888) 568-6983 or submit the form below.