Get Answers To Common Traumatic Brain Injury Questions We Hear the Most

We know how many questions you must have right now about your traumatic brain injury case, so we compiled this list of the questions we hear the most. If you have a question that is not answered here, please call our Columbia law office to speak with Kenneth Berger.

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  • Is a Concussion a Form of Traumatic Brain Injury?

    Getting Help After a Traumatic Brain InjuryConcussions are a common form of injury that impact 1000s of Americans each year. Any blow to the head can be serious and become deadly, even if there’s no apparent bruising or broken skin. What exactly is a concussion, and how can it affect the brain and long-term health of a victim? Here’s what you need to know about concussive injuries, and how to get legal help if you have been hurt.

    Concussions Are Brain Injuries

    A concussion is not just a blow to the head; it is a form of traumatic brain injury that is often seen in professional and school sports, slip and fall accidents (especially in nursing homes), car or motorcycle accidents, and child daycare injuries.

    A concussion may be caused by a direct hit to the head, such as when someone slips and strikes his or her head against the floor when falling, or slams against the dashboard in a car crash. The sudden impact can cause the brain to shift inside the head and strike against the boney underside of the skull. There may not be any evidence on the outside of the head that there was an impact, and the victim may not lose consciousness immediately or even at all. Some concussions happen even when the head has not been struck. When the head is subjected to a rapid acceleration or sudden stop, the force involved can cause the head to whip back and forth. In this situation, the way that the brain is suspended inside the skull can cause it to slam against the inside of the skull, causing injury.

    When the force is great enough, both the front and back of the brain may strike the skull. This is called a coup-contrecoup injury, which can worsen symptoms and prolong healing time.

    The Symptoms of Concussion After an Accident

    Certain signs and symptoms can show if someone has suffered a concussion, including the following:

    • Headache or a feeling of pressure
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Mental confusion
    • Delayed or sluggish speech, responses, or movement
    • Inability to focus, pay attention, or concentrate
    • Trouble staying awake or trouble falling asleep
    • Irritability
    • Depression

    These are not all of the symptoms of a concussion, and some or all of the symptoms may even be delayed, so it is important whenever there’s a suspected head injury to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many symptoms mimic those of other types of TBI that are deadly if left untreated, such as bleeding on the brain or uncontrolled swelling. Diffuse axonal injuries and neurochemical cascades are also hallmarks of concussion.

    After a TBI, follow your doctor’s recommendations on when it is safe to engage in physical activity again. A second blow to the head while still healing from an initial concussion may lead to what’s known as “second impact syndrome,” which causes rapid, uncontrollable swelling of the brain. Second injury syndrome can lead to permanent disability or death.

    Get Legal Help After a TBI

    If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, the negligent person or parties should be held responsible. To speak to an experienced attorney who focuses on securing justice for the victims of traumatic brain injuries, contact my office today. We are based in Columbia, and proudly serve the Lexington, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina and beyond. Reach out to us by phone, send an email, or just click the live chat box on this page to begin receiving help now. 

     

  • What Tests Should Be Performed When Someone Sustains a Brain Injury From a Car Accident?

    Brain injuries - often called concussions or closed head injuries - are a frequent consequence of car accidents. In South Carolina, and throughout the country, basic tests such as CT scans, are often done at the hospital. CT scans check for injuries such as a fractured skull or brain bleed (i.e. intracranial hemorrhage). Most of these tests come back normal. In the event of a normal CT, what else should be done?

    The ER doctor will generally instruct patients who have sustained a concussion to follow up with their primary care doctor. The primary care doctor will in turn refer the patient to a neurologist should symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or memory loss persist.

    The first tests neurologists order are often an MRI and EEG. These tests check your brain activity. Much like CT scans, MRIs and EEGs may come back "normal" even though the patient with the closed head injury knows something is not right.

    If you continue to experience headaches, changes in attitude, memory loss, or any other problem for more than several weeks after your car accident, you should ask your neurologist to consider more advanced testing. Tests such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) are able to reveal injuries to the brain that traditional imaging misses.

    We focus on helping people who have suffered brain injuries from car wrecks in South Carolina, and want you to consider us a resource in finding the right doctors, tests, and treatment. We have seen far too many people  get released by their neurologist simply because the MRI came back negative. If "something has been different since the accident," and you find yourself in need of answers and direction, call me today at (803) 790-2800.

     

  • Which Doctor Should I See if I Sustained a Concussion from an Auto Accident in South Carolina?

    Auto accidents send South Carolinians to the hospital with concussions every day. The emergency room doctors often perform CT scans, or even MRIs, before telling the injured person he/she has received a concussion, and to follow up with a family doctor if symptoms persist. You may have been one of those people. If so, you probably went to your primary care doctor, told him/her that you were having headaches, nausea, or problems with dizziness, only to be informed that these symptoms were normal. In many cases, your doctor is right. The problem, however, is that in some cases, these symptoms don't go away after a couple weeks.

    If you were in an auto accident, and are still dealing with post-concussive syndrome (PCS) several weeks or months after the wreck, you don't just need a lawyer, you probably need a referral to a neurologist. Simply put, neurologists focus on the brain. A good neurologist will take time to discuss how your injury occurred, the problems you have experienced, and whether you should undergo additional testing. A negative CT or MRI does not mean your brain is 100%. CTs and MRIs often fail to detect injury to the axons (white matter), which carry messages throughout the brain. If your neurologist is unwilling to listen to your complaints, or appears dismissive of your injury, I encourage you to seek a second opinion.

    A good neurologist will often times refer you to a neuropsychologist or other specialist if you remain symptomatic for more than a few months. Any type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), including a concussion, should be taken seriously by your doctor. I handle TBI cases, and will gladly discuss treatment options with you, as I am familiar with the hardships concussion victims experience, and the frustration they feel when it does not seem like anyone is listening to them.

    If you experienced a concussion due to a car accident in Lexington, Columbia, Orangeburg, or elsewhere in South Carolina, I am here to help. I am not only an attorney, but an advocate for TBI victims and a supporter of the SC Brain Injury Association. Call me today at (803) 790-2800. 

  • How Much Compensation Should I Receive For The Concussion I Received in a Car Wreck?

    Concussions are a common consequence of auto accidents in South Carolina. Whether it is a rear-end, head-on, or T-bone collision, your head can get thrown around inside the car, striking the headrest, steering wheel, or window. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and for the first time in history, they are being treated as seriously as they should have been all along.

    Concussions often result in headaches, nausea, light-sensitivity, dizziness, and balance problems. In some cases, these symptoms last for 2-3 weeks. In other instances, the problems can take months or years to resolve. South Carolina law is intended to compensate car wreck victims for their physical pain, suffering, and lost quality of life - in addition to their purely financial losses. I take the position that your lost quality of life often demands more compensation than your medical bills, as medical bills can be paid, but your lost time can never be returned. In this way, the compensation you receive for a concussion cannot fix the harm, but it can begin to balance it out. You must ask yourself how much compensation is necessary to balance out your lost days, weeks, or months. If you need help answering that question, feel free to call me at (803) 790-2800. I won't charge you a dime to simply answers questions.

    I help people who have sustained concussions as a result of car wrecks in Columbia, Lexington, Sumter, and across South Carolina. TBIs most be taken seriously not only by medical providers, but by the insurance company responsible for compensating you. Please let me know what I can do for you.

  • How can I tell if my loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident? He doesn’t seem quite the same.

    You have good reason to be concerned about your loved one right now. Even when motorcyclists wear a helmet, they are still not immune to traumatic brain injuries from a crash.

    Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to very severe, so if there's an indication someone you love may have brain damage, he needs to see a doctor right away. If the first doctor you see says that nothing is wrong, don't be afraid to get a second opinion—only you and your loved one can truly know that something doesn't seem right and needs to be fixed.

    Symptoms of a Motorcycle Brain Injury

    There are various symptoms that could be an indication that some sort of brain injury has occurred:

    • Emotional Signs: Depression, anxiety, irritability, irrational anger, personality changes
    • Physical and Behavioral Signs: Changes in sleeping (sleeping too long, not being able to sleep, not being able to wake up), dizziness, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness, blurred vision, ringing ears, sensitivity to light or sound, changes in appetite
    • Cognitive Signs: Inability to concentration, memory loss, disorientation

    This is not an exhaustive list, so even if your loved one has symptoms that are not here, you should still consider seeing a doctor. If it is determined that he does indeed have a TBI and it was caused by the negligence of another person, you are also going to want to contact a brain injury attorney in Columbia. Your attorney will help answer questions, deal with the insurance companies, and guide you toward justice.

    Speak to a Columbia Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Today

    Contact the Law Office of Kenneth Berger today for a free consultation at 803-790-2800.