This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
Now let's go to the next question from one of our viewers.
"Gary - good morning.
I have some questions for you about a wreck my son and I were in last month. We were stopped behind another car on I-285 because the traffic in front of us was at a stop. All of a sudden - bam! This pick up truck crashed into us from behind and pushed us into the car in front of us. Both of our air bags went off like explosions. My son's nose started bleeding because the air bag really hit him hard in the face. We were both taken by ambulance to the hospital.
We are both still treating for our injuries but I'm really concerned about my son. He is still having severe headaches, dizziness, and he complains about not being able to see as well. He says things look blurry.
Do we need a lawyer to help us with our case?
-Name withheld upon request
Thank you to our viewer for the question.
Any time you are hurt in a wreck, I encourage you to - at the very least -discuss your case with a lawyer.
And I also recommend in this situation that you hire a lawyer.
But let me address one of my biggest concerns with your email - and it deals with your son's injuries.
Please understand - I'm not trying to practice medicine, but it sounds as though he is demonstrating the classic symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
If this were on of my children, I would want to get some additional testing done to find out exactly what is wrong - regardless of whether or not I planned on pursuing a personal injury claim.
Let me share some statistics with you about Brain injuries:
* The most common causes for Traumatic Brain Injuries are:
* Approximately 15% of people with a mild TBI have symptoms that last one year or more: fatigue, headaches, memory loss, visual problems, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance, emotional problems, depression and seizures.
* About 1.7 million people suffer a brain injury every year - 52,000 people die and 85,000 suffer long-term disabilities.
* Most concussions occur without losing consciousness.
* Many mild TBI's are not diagnosed until the person begins to have problems down the road - usually doing something that was once an easy task or in a social situation.
Keep in mind - it is possible for the brain to be injured - even when there is not direct trauma to the brain.
Your brain is very soft. In a car wreck, if your brain strikes the inside of your skull, the brain can be bruised, or as doctors referred to it, it can sustain a contusion. When it is bruised, there is bleeding and there can be swelling. This swelling can cause pressure to build - compressing your brain in the confines of the skull.
One thing I don't know from our viewer's question is the age of her son.
I'm going to assume he is under age 18.
Traumatic brain injuries to children can be especially devastating.
Children are not smaller versions of adults - their brains are still developing.
Damage from a TBI during the development of their brain may not be evident for several years: until the child reaches the appropriate age to learn a specific skill or exhibit a particular behavior.
There are a variety of tests that a doctor can perform to assess whether or not someone has sustained a TBI.
These tests are designed to do one of two things: show how the brain looks and determine how it is functioning.
One test may be normal, but another may be abnormal.
For example, a CT scan shows the structure of the brain. It does not show the functioning of the brain, though.
Often times a doctor will order a variety of tests to better assess the patient's injuries, such as an MRI, or two other tests:
(1) Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
(2) Positron Emission Tomography Scanning (PET)
These tests will provide pictures of the brain.
If a person is having a seizure, the part of the brain that produces the seizure will be very active and may show up as a bright spot; when the person is not having a seizure, that area may look pale and less intense.
Another way to determine whether or not an individual has sustained a TBI is to have an evaluation performed by a Neuropsychologist. These doctors are trained to understand the effects a TBI can have on a person's behavior.
The most important thing you can do is get a physician trained in diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries involved in the patient's care as soon as possible.
These cases can be very complicated. As attorneys, we have to work with the medical professionals to help build a case that a jury can understand.
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, please don't delay in seeking expert LEGAL help.