The effects of brain damage are usually greatest within a few days following the injury. However, there are some effects of a traumatic brain injury that develop over time. For instance, when an individual suffers temporary brain damage resulting from a bruising, also known as a contusion, swelling may develop. In those situations, more often than not, the brain returns to its normal function once the swelling goes down. However, that is not always the case. Accordingly, it is difficult to accurately predict the extent of long-term problems in the first weeks following traumatic brain injury. Additionally, children's brains, having much greater flexibility than brains of adults, have a greater chance of progressing and recovering than adults with similar damage.
When an individual suffers a moderate to severe injury, swelling may cause pressure on the brain stem which controls consciousness and wakefulness. Individuals who suffer those types of injuries are frequently in an unconscious condition which we commonly refer to as a coma. People in comas may be completely unresponsive to loud noises, pain or other stimuli while others may respond to some stimuli but be unaware of their surroundings.
Individuals have been unconscious often have ongoing problems concentrating, organizing their thoughts and with memory. Others may experience difficulty learning and obtaining new information while others may be unable to solve difficult problems or plan. Under those circumstances, judgment is often affected. Language problems also may vary. These problems would include word-finding difficulty, poor sentence formation and difficulty understanding subtle meanings in jokes, sarcasm or colloquialism such as "it's as hard as a rock". Finally, speech in a traumatically brain injured individual may also be altered by being slurred or slowed.
One thing is certain, that early and aggressive diagnosis and treatment will improve the likelihood of reaching maximum medical improvement as quickly as possible. Additionally, locating an attorney you can trust that has the knowledge of the function of the brain and the needs of individuals with traumatic brain injury is extremely important. The lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have had literally hundreds of cases involving traumatic brain injury. Accordingly, if you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, call the law offices of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. and ask to speak to partners Ira Sherman or Joseph Cammarata for a free consultation.