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Mild traumatic brain injury: Seeking compensation

Experiencing any forceful contact to the head that disrupts natural functions is the commonly accepted definition of traumatic brain injury. It's often referred to as a TBI. On occasion, a brain injury is the result of an illness or stroke, but they are known as acquired brain injuries. When a TBI is the result of an accident, especially if it is caused by someone's negligence or carelessness, the victim may attempt to get compensation for the injury through insurance claims or a lawsuit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year about 1.7 million people in the United States suffer a TBI. Of those, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized and nearly 80 percent are treated and released from a hospital. They say that about 75 percent are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury. One of the most startling facts is that the costs are estimated to be at least $60 billion. These are medical expenses as well as indirect costs of such things as lost productivity.

Victims of severe brain injuries are more likely to be obviously in need of financial compensation in order to recover. It becomes more about careful evaluation of medical treatment plans, rehabilitation, long-term care and projected loss of earning capacity than it is proving the injury exists. In these cases, factual evidence and valuation formulas are case basics. For victims of mild TBI accidents, seeking compensation from at-fault parties might be more challenging.

There are neurological, cognitive and behavioral consequences of a mild TBI that may or may not occur immediately. Severity can change, and presentation is often delayed. Any of these complications, however, can affect a victim's daily life. Families can be altered and jobs may be lost if a person suffers poor concentration, trouble thinking, loss of memory, vision disturbances, fatigue, depression, anxiety, mood disorders or other personality changes. These are some of the potential physical problems that might require ongoing medical or psychological treatment.

While it can be harder to build a compensation case on a claim relating to mild traumatic brain injury, there are solid strategies that can help. Professional opinions based on assessments of existing symptoms, healing estimation and time-frame and life-planning needs can add strength to the claim.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Traumatic Brain Injury in the U.S. Statistics," accessed May. 06, 2015

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