Trauma to the head is common in motor vehicle, bicycle accidents, and falls. A person may suffer injury to the brain that goes undetected by medical professionals, with symptoms that begin to appear during the first 72 hours after the injury. This condition, known as subtle brain injury (SBI), can have life-altering consequences for victims and their families.
What Are the Symptoms of Subtle Brain Injury?
People with SBI may not show obvious, outward signs of the condition. Nevertheless, subtle brain injury symptoms can be physical, emotional, and cognitive.
- Physical symptoms: Physically, a person with SBI may experience headaches, fatigue, sensitivity to noise, disturbances in vision, dizziness, trouble with fine motor coordination, intolerance to alcohol, and impaired sense of taste and smell.
- Emotional symptoms: These symptoms may include lack of motivation, lack of insight, impulsive behavior, anxiety, and depression.
- Cognitive symptoms: People who suffer subtle brain injury may have problems with learning new information, short-term memory, problem solving, word finding, multi-tasking, working under pressure, and concentration.
How Can SBI Go Undetected?
In many cases, symptoms of SBI are not fully investigated by medical professionals. If the patient suffers other serious injuries, doctors may focus on treating those injuries and may overlook what appears to be a mild head injury. Routine scans and tests may be negative. Doctors may offer alternative explanations for the symptoms, such as shock or stress. People experiencing symptoms of subtle brain injury may be embarrassed about having cognitive or emotional issues. The symptoms may only be noticed by people closest to the victim, such as immediate family members.
What Happens When Children Suffer SBI?
Mild head injuries are common among children. Although these injuries may appear minor on the surface, they can have catastrophic long-term consequences. Early diagnosis of brain injury is important to help limit the damage and provide support the victim needs. In children, it may be even more difficult to recognize cognitive and emotional difficulties due to SBI because the brain is still developing in children and the symptoms may take longer to appear.
What Are the Challenges in Proving Subtle Brain Injury?
Victims seeking compensation for SBI face legal challenges establishing the existence and extent of their injuries. These cases are often aggressively defended by insurance companies and their teams of lawyers, who may allege symptom fraud, dishonesty, or exaggeration. Doctors may conclude in error that these injuries do not exist. Accurate diagnosis of subtle brain injuries requires rigorous clinical testing by qualified professionals who thoroughly understand SBI.
How Can a Santa Barbara Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC understand your injuries and what you are going through. We can work with medical experts who have a thorough understanding of SBI to establish that your injuries exist, determine the proper treatment, and assess the full extent of your losses. Our lawyers can secure evidence to support your claim, build a persuasive case based on the facts, deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and take your case to court to fight for the compensation you deserve, if necessary. Insurance companies have teams of lawyers on their payroll to defend against your claim. To prevail in an SBI injury claim, you need effective legal representation.
NordstrandBlack PC has over three decades of experience representing the injured in personal injury cases and has achieved many high value settlements and jury awards. If you or your loved one has suffered subtle brain injury through someone else’s negligence, call us today at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we successfully recover compensation for you.