The Interplay of Pain and TBI after a Car Accident
This is my second blog on TBI for traumatic brain injury attorneys, based on part of three seminars I will be speaking in this summer. I have said before that lawyers who represent victims of traumatic brain injury have a special obligation, because TBI can be utterly devastating, yet difficult to prove. Today’s blog is about understanding the interplay of pain and TBI after a car accident and how it relates to your traumatic brain injury case.
A brain injury caused by an auto accident is usually different from most other types of traumas that cause TBI. In serious car crashes, brain injuries rarely occur without accompanying serious physical injuries. After all, your client was hit by a car or truck. Many emergency rooms miss the initial signs of TBI when other, more urgent medical problems are apparent at the onset of a car accident. But keep in mind that traumatic brain injury is a process — not an event — because the brain continues to undergo the course of injury for days and weeks after the auto accident.
According to the National Institutes of Health, TBI may result in physical impairment, but the more common consequences involve the accident victim’s cognition, emotional functioning and behavior. Read our TBI symptoms page to learn more about neurological, cognitive and behavioral symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
Science is now beginning to understand is the vicious interplay of how these different injuries overlap, how they contribute to each other, and the overall effect on brain functioning. Neck pain, back pain, headaches, sleep disturbance, fatigue, changes in emotional functioning that include depression and anxiety, and other injuries, especially once they become chronic, can cause fundamental changes in brain chemistry and processing.
The brain literally becomes re-wired.
The big point is that it doesn’t matter what you call it, whether it’s TBI or chronic pain syndrome or depression or somatoform pain disorder or disabling fatigue, the reality is that most of these cases are a little bit of all of these things. That’s why traumatic brain injury attorneys and doctors rarely see only one set of symptoms, clearly defined impairments or a disability that affects only one part of a person’s life.
– Steven Gursten is a member of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brian Injury Group and lectures on TBI throughout the country. He was recently invited to become the first Michigan traumatic brain injury lawyer to serve on the legal committee for the Sarah Jane Brain Project, a foundation that aims to create a model system for all children suffering from pediatric acquired brain injuries. In 2008, Steve received a trial verdict of $5.65 million for a TBI victim; the largest reported auto negligence verdict in Michigan for the year.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by littledan77
Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Southfield, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. For more information, please refer to our law firm quick facts.