After you suffer a head injury in an accident, a doctor may diagnose you using confusing terminology. You may wonder what the difference between brain damage and traumatic brain injury is. Brain damage usually is non-traumatic, while traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of a blow to the head, often in an accident with negligence.
If someone else creates a reckless situation for you, resulting in an accident, you may suffer a TBI. However, suppose the insurance company believes that your injuries result from non-traumatic brain damage, rather than because of a blow to the head that the accident caused. In that case, the insurer may try to avoid paying a settlement.
You and your personal injury attorney will need to use the facts in the case and reports from your doctor to show that you deserve a fair judgment for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and reduction in quality of life.
Defining a TBI
According to the Georgia Department of Education, a victim receives a TBI via some external force. This can include someone hitting you in the head with a hard object, like a baseball bat. A slip and fall accident where the victim hits his or her head on the ground also can result in a TBI.
A traumatic brain injury does not necessarily have to involve a blow to the head directly, though. The force of a high-impact car accident on the body can throw the head of the victim forward, causing the brain to impact the skull’s interior, resulting in a TBI.
Understanding How a TBI Affects Your Life
A traumatic brain injury can result in a significant reduction in your quality of life. Perhaps you will struggle to take care of yourself daily. You may be unable to work at the same job you had before the accident.
Some of the consequences of a TBI, according to Mayo Clinic, include:
- Severe headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weakness in the limbs
- Loss of coordination
- Speech problems
- Memory problems
- Significant confusion
- Agitation or combativeness
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Defining Brain Damage
A non-traumatic brain injury occurs because of disease, the presence of toxins, or a lack of oxygen to the brain. Some of the specific ways in which someone can end up with brain damage include:
- Infectious disease
- Near drowning
Some brain damage types could lead to a personal injury claim, such as if a doctor failed to diagnose your health problem that led to the brain injury. This situation could result in a medical malpractice case. However, it is far more common for a traumatic brain injury to lead to a personal injury claim.
Importance of Receiving a TBI Diagnosis when Litigating a Claim
If you end up with a brain injury after an accident, you may have the right to seek compensation. You and your attorney will need to convince the insurance company that you have a case.
This process often starts by showing that your injury is related to a TBI rather than brain damage. A few ways exist in which you and your attorney will work toward showing that the accident caused your brain injury.
A Doctor’s Diagnosis of a TBI
After your brain injury, doctors may order a series of tests to determine your condition’s severity. Through these tests, doctors should be able to determine that your brain injury occurred directly because of the blow to the head, not because of a disease or tumor.
Looking at Past Medical History
If the insurance company claims that your brain injury resulted from brain damage suffered in the past, you and your attorney can present your medical history records. If these show you never received treatment for any brain injuries before the accident, this can be a key piece of evidence in attempting to win a settlement.
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Handling the Complexities in a Head Injury Accident Claim
Brain injuries after an accident can result in extremely complex personal injury cases. Insurance companies often attempt to reduce the settlement amounts they offer to victims with TBIs. They may even try to claim that your brain injury existed before the crash, so they should not have to pay.
Understanding the difference between brain damage and traumatic brain injury can be the difference between winning a fair settlement from the insurance company and settling for a smaller judgment.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers has dealt with these types of cases many times over the years, giving us insight into how insurers treat victims with TBIs. We will use the facts to help you secure a settlement. For a free case review, call us at (404) 888-8888 today.