Concussions fall under the umbrella term of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can lead to lasting and profound changes. A TBI can significantly impact daily life for victims, and can develop into associated injuries over time.
These associated injuries are called “TBI sequelae” and refer to the enduring consequences of a TBI, causing further physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. TBI sequelae, stemming from incidents like slips and falls, car accidents, or medical malpractice, can contribute to a shortened lifespan.
In a recent report by ksat.com, an undiagnosed TBI led to a life-threatening event, turning a suburban San Antonio family’s life upside down. Johnny Cazares, a 16-year-old varsity athlete and star student at Utopia High School, faced a life-altering experience resulting from an undiagnosed TBI. On the morning of July 18, 2022 Cazares felt a minor headache on his way to his summer job. This minor pain was really bleeding in his brain, which caused him to lose consciousness behind the wheel, crashing his truck into a tree. Cazares was in a coma for a month following this incident and upon awakening had to re-learn fundamental skills like speaking and walking.
While the initial injury that caused the brain bleed is still unknown, the resultant life-threatening accident demonstrates the ongoing dangers of TBI, and the necessity for ongoing monitoring and treatment for individuals who have suffered a primary TBI.
What effects are related to TBI sequelae?
TBIs are injuries that should be taken seriously because of their potential long-term effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly fifty percent of TBI victims will worsen in condition, with twenty-two percent of that group passing away within the first five years after their injury.
TBI sequelae can have a wide range of effects on a TBI victim, such as:
- Cognitive effects: The CDC notes that the cognitive impacts of TBI affect memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving, often accompanied by reduced processing speed and communication issues.
- Emotional effects: The life-long effects of TBI can profoundly affect emotional well-being. The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) notes TBI individuals may encounter mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, and heightened aggression.
- Physical effects: Physical effects of TBI can result in chronic pain, seizures, balance issues, and motor control problems, which can severely affect mobility and independence. Managing these effects requires appropriate medical interventions and support.
Each of these different chronic issues can cause injured individuals to be unable to perform their job duties or carry out what were once necessary daily tasks. Occupational, physical and emotional therapy may all be necessary to best live with TBI. Compensation will be important to account for these factors.
Moreover, TBI victims face an elevated risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which can significantly reduce lifespan. Epilepsy, often linked to TBI, may result in accidents, further threatening life expectancy. Decreased life satisfaction, substance abuse, mental health issues, and can exacerbate the impact of all other injuries. These sequelae can have a substantial impact on life expectancy.
Why is regular medical monitoring necessary for San Antonio TBI victims?
The brain is highly sensitive to blood flow disruptions and relies on delicate mechanisms for stability. Even a seemingly minor TBI can disrupt this regulation, manifesting in various ways.
- Cerebral ischemia: Cerebral ischemia, a serious medical emergency resulting from inadequate blood supply to the brain, is linked to strokes. Recognizable symptoms include abrupt weakness, speech difficulties, vision changes, dizziness, severe headaches, confusion, and numbness.
- Destructive free radicals: During the body’s healing process, inflammation may unintentionally introduce harmful free radicals to the brain environment. This inflammatory response, triggered by a primary brain injury, plays a significant role in the formation of secondary brain injuries, potentially leading to devastating effects.
Even when symptoms are minor, TBI should be monitored for the indefinite future after the injury.
What are the financial burdens related to the chronic effects of TBI?
Managing chronic conditions post-TBI becomes a source of significant financial strain for individuals and their families. Costs related to medical treatments, rehabilitation, assistive technology, and ongoing therapy can pile up quickly and persist throughout the victim’s lifetime. Employment challenges and career limitations arising from cognitive and physical impairments further compound the financial impact on TBI survivors.
This combination of long-term medical expenses and potential loss of income can severely disrupt financial stability after suffering a TBI. For those who have experienced TBI due to the actions of another party, it is essential to file a personal injury claim promptly after your accident, since the statute of limitations for TBI lawsuits in Texas is two years.
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, all liable parties should be held accountable to provide support for the chronic health conditions associated with this life changing injury.
The Law Offices of Pat Maloney in San Antonio is here to help. Our team offers experience and support during these challenging times following your injury. We are here to ensure that your right to potential compensation is safeguarded following your brain injury. Review our case testimonials here to see how the Law Offices of Pat Maloney has helped our San Antonio neighbors earn fair compensation following their TBIs.
At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, the needs of San Antonio personal injury victims and those of your family are our top priority. Call or contact us at our San Antonio office to arrange a free initial consultation today.
Pat Maloney, Jr. is a skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyer who has acted as lead counsel and co-counsel in many multi-million dollar verdicts throughout Texas. Pat Maloney represents people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and more. He is well known for his expertise in representing victims of serious personal injuries and has participated as a lecturer in the field of personal injury litigation. He has been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” Reference Book every year for the last five years.