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Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Mild TBI): What You Need To Know

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury What You Need To Know

If you have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI) in an automobile crash, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering damages and other economic damages from the at-fault driver. You may also be able to recover No-Fault PIP insurance benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. 

Having an experienced mild traumatic brain injury attorney – with a proven track record of obtaining record-setting settlements and trial verdicts – on your side will help you and your family protect your legal rights to full and fair legal compensation for your mild TBI. An experienced attorney can also help you obtain No-Fault insurance benefits so you can receive necessary medical care and make the best medical recovery possible from your injury.  

Michigan Auto Law traumatic brain injury attorney Steven Gursten has received the highest recorded jury verdicts and settlements for Michigan closed head injury cases over multiple years, according to year-end compilations of brain injury settlements and trial verdicts by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. These include a $5.65 million verdict on a $1 million dollar settlement offer, a $4.2 million verdict on a $100,000 settlement offer and a $2.5 million trial verdict on a $250,000 settlement offer. 

Our attorneys have the experience and proven results to protect you. Significantly, our attorneys at Michigan Auto Law have also now recovered over 25 separate trial verdicts or judgments of a million dollars or more on insurance company settlement offers of only $0 to $30,000. This trial record allows our attorneys to settle cases faster and for significantly more money than other lawyers and law firms who do not have this proven record of success protecting accident victims with mild TBI injuries.  

Steve is also past-President of the American Association for Justice’s Traumatic Brain Injury Group and lectures to attorneys across the country on how to successfully litigate closed head injury cases. 

What is a mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI or mTBI)?

A mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI or mTBI) can be caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head that causes the brain and head to move back and forth quickly which often involves a disruption in the normal function of a person’s brain. For some survivors, the disabilities and impairments last a lifetime. Significantly, you do not need a violent blow or jolt to the head to suffer a mTBI, nor do you need to suffer a loss of consciousness. These closed head injuries are most commonly caused by an automobile crash.   

Describing a closed head injury as “mild” is misleading. Mild in this context is a medical classification, but it in no way means the impact on the victim is mild. This term is often deliberately used out of context by insurance adjusters and defense lawyers to minimize the impairments of a person who is diagnosed with a mild TBI, but the effect on a person’s cognitive, physical and psychological functioning can often be quite severe, even when the medical classification of the closed head injury is so-called “mild.” 

Mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI) symptoms

Mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI) symptoms may include:

  • Any period of loss of consciousness or no loss of consciousness
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration;
  • Feeling dazed, disoriented and/or confused
  • Difficulty thinking clearly, paying attention or decision-making
  • Slurred speech or related speech impairment issues
  • Balance and vertigo difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Feelings of depression
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Other emotional sequelae secondary to the brain injury
  • Pain

It is important for victims and family to be vigilant for these common mild TBI symptoms. Published studies show that hospital emergency rooms which often focus on acute injuries will often miss properly diagnosing these injuries by as much as 55-85% of the time.   

A big reason why mild TBI injuries are so frequently missed in emergency rooms is because many of the most common symptoms do not always appear immediately after an automobile crash. The CDC and peer-reviewed medical literature show that symptoms of a closed head injury may be delayed and appear over a course of days, weeks or even months, often as a result of chemical, inflammatory and structural changes that occur in the brain over days and even weeks after the trauma. It is important to realize that even though someone may appear to  look “fine,” there may still be a mild traumatic brain injury that can result in serious and disabling impairments.   

There is also a potentially fatal phenomenon – where a crash victim again will look and seem “fine” after a car crash or other trauma to the brain and continues to go about his or her normal life but where the brain continues to undergo a potentially deadly chemical and inflammatory metabolic cascade. This is referred to in the medical literature as “Talk and Die Syndrome.” It is not a very common consequence but it can and does occur with car accident victims who have suffered a mTBI but appeared to look and talk normally for some period of time after the crash. 

How to treat a mild traumatic brain injury?

The most common medical treatments for a mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI) includes cognitive-behavioral remediation; pharmacologic management; neuropsychology; surgery; assistive technology; environmental manipulation; education; counseling; and occupational and vocational rehabilitation. Medical care and treatment will be administered by a neuropsychologist and neurologist.

Is a concussion a mild traumatic brain injury?

A concussion is by definition a traumatic brain injury – regardless of whether it is called a concussion or a closed head injury. Although it can be called by more than one name by doctors,  a concussion can be just as serious an injury and can cause significant and long-lasting impairments and disability from work.  

Is a mild traumatic brain injury permanent?

Many traumatic brain injuries that are medically classified as “mild” or “moderate” will not result in permanent impairment or disability, but there is a significant percentage of the population for whom these closed head injuries will prove permanent and permanently disabling.  

Doctors and scientists that treat and study these types of cases do not know why for some TBI victims the effects of a mTBI may be permanent or why for others they may diminish and even disappear over time. Today, most doctors and scientists believe that this wide discrepancy in outcomes is most likely due to genetic predisposition and that for some people they are more susceptible and vulnerable to inflammatory and chemical changes after a closed head injury. 

Common impairments secondary to a mild to moderate TBI can often include:  (1) difficulty with thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning); (2) loss of sensation (i.e., touch, taste, and smell); (3) difficulty with language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding); and (4) changes in one’s emotional state (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).

Mild TBI recovery time

The recovery time will vary and can depend on a variety of factors, including a person’s genetics and genetic predisposition to a closed head and inflammatory and chemical changes that can occur.

Other common factors that can influence the recovery time for a mild traumatic brain injury include: (1) how early the mTBI was diagnosed; (2) how early mTBI treatment began; (3) the type of treatment rendered; (4) the mTBI survivor’s response to medical care and treatment; (5) whether the mTBI is the only injury or whether the mTBI was suffered with other physical injuries, pain and emotional or fatigue issues that can compound and worsen the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. 

This last factor is a common one for victims and a common cause for why some people with a mTBI seem to worsen over time.

Unfortunately, research has also shown that mTBI survivors face also will face increased risk of the following: (1) dementia; (2) Parkinson’s Disease; (3) Alzheimer’s Disease; (4) suicide; (5) chronic pain; and (6) divorce.

Get Help Now From A Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after an automobile crash and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and No-Fault benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages, you can speak to an experienced attorney at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced mild TBI attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

For more than 50 years, our lawyers have been helping people like you who have suffered a mTBI injury in an automobile crash. We understand the physical, emotional and psychological hardships you are experiencing from your accident. We can help.
Our law firm consistently wins record-breaking verdicts and settlements in the state on behalf of crash victims who are mTBI injury survivors like you. Even more important than our record settlements in the state is how our attorneys treat the people we help. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from the crash victims we have helped. You can also read about our 100% client satisfaction guarantee.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury