Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys can Help after NJ TBI Diagnosis
Diagnosing a traumatic brain injury can be relatively obvious, as is the case with the vast majority of injuries considered moderate or severe. Many TBI cases are considered medical emergencies requiring rapid intervention and treatment to prevent further complications and secondary conditions. Some may result in loss of consciousness, breathing problems, or coma that are simply unmistakeable. Conversely, more mild traumatic brain injuries and closed head injuries can be more difficult to identify. A person may not experience signs or symptoms of TBI for days or even weeks after the initial injury occurred. Still more, brain injuries in infants and children are often extremely difficult to diagnose, as the person affected cannot communicate that something is wrong.
If you suspect that you or someone you love suffered a brain injury, it is highly advisable to seek help from a knowledgeable medical professional right away. If you recently received a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, it is important to understand the various forms of negligence that give rise to TBI-related claims in New Jersey. At Fronzuto Law Group, our highly experienced New Jersey TBI Lawyers are dedicated to providing answers and aggressive advocacy for the injured and their families. With New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney Ernest P. Fronzuto at the helm, we have tirelessly fought for our clients, in some cases, before the state’s highest court. If you have questions about the rights of injury victims in New Jersey or would like to discuss your traumatic brain injury case with an attorney who can help, contact us at (973)-435-4551 today. A member of our staff is available immediately to assist you.
How are Traumatic Brain Injuries Diagnosed?
The type and extent of an individual’s brain injury, and the way their body responds to said injury, influence the symptoms that compel further investigation by a medical professional. For instance, an injury to the brainstem may cause respiratory problems or changes in heart rate. In other cases, a frontal lobe injury will lead to impulsivity, changes in personality, and behavior abnormalities in social situations. If the cerebellum is injured, a person may experience problems with balance and coordination. Regardless of what gives rise to a discussion about possible brain damage, TBI may be diagnosed through one or more of the following means.
First, a doctor will likely perform a thorough neurological examination and discuss with the patient, or his or her family, any current or prior issues with head trauma or brain injury. In an emergency situation, medical professionals will use a 15-point test called the Glasgow Coma Scale to evaluate the severity of a brain injury. This test assesses eye opening response, verbal response, and motor response, assigning a numerical value to each. The lower the number, the lesser the response to external stimuli. According to the Glasgow Coma Scale, a score of 8 or less indicates a severe head injury, a score of 9 to 12 indicates a moderate head injury, and a score of 13 to 15 indicates a mild head injury.
Testing for Brain Injury
Once a thorough neurological exam has been performed and/or a score on the GCS score has been calculated, physicians may order imaging tests to confirm or rule out a brain injury. The two primary imaging tests used for TBI diagnoses are computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests. A CT scan is typically ordered first in cases of emergency. This scan presents a detailed view of the brain from a variety of angles by taking several X-rays. A CT scan will usually reveal the presence of a brain hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), skull fractures, contusions, brain swelling, and blood clots. An MRI is generally used after a CT scan in emergency situations. The MRI employs magnets and radio waves to provide a visual picture of a person’s brain. MRI results are more detailed than CT scan results, but it takes more time to generate them.
If a brain injury causes brain swelling, another test called intracranial pressure monitoring may be performed. Brain swelling after a traumatic brain injury can increase intracranial pressure (pressure inside the skull), which can cause further brain damage. Using an ICP test allows a doctor to monitor swelling in the brain and associated skull pressure by inserting a probe into the skull. Other tests, including neuropsychological testing to assess cognitive function and speech and language evaluation to evaluate communication skills, may be performed later in the diagnostic process for TBI as well.
Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury in NJ, What Should I do?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, it is critical to understand the legal options that may be available to you if someone else’s mistakes or negligent conduct played a role. Contact us at (973)-435-4551 or fill out the form below for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable team of New Jersey TBI attorneys is here to answer all of your questions about the process of bringing a claim and the possibility of recovering compensation for your injuries.