All traumatic brain injury victims need follow up care—make sure your personal injury settlement covers it
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it’s important to get the follow up care you need to properly manage your symptoms and make the fullest possible recovery. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for individuals with milder sorts of traumatic brain injury who are not hospitalized not to get this care, despite the fact that they are likely to have numerous post-injury complaints.
A recent study on outcome after mild traumatic brain injury shed light on this issue. The study compared the outcome of two groups of patients, those who were hospitalized and those who were not.
Two weeks after the injury, there was no significant difference between the hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. Both groups had an average of five post-traumatic complaints, such as fatigue, headache, dizziness, poor concentration, and increased need for sleep.
Six months after the injury, 61 percent of hospitalized patients still had more than one post-traumatic complaint. This makes sense, considering that the hospitalized patients were more severely injured. In fact, this outcome is expected, which is why outpatient follow up is recommended for all hospitalized patients. What is somewhat surprising is that 46 percent of non-hospitalized patients had more than one post-traumatic complaint. This seems at odds with the practice of not recommending follow up care for these patients.
Nonetheless, many of the non-hospitalized patients did seek follow up care. Six months after injury, 45 percent of them had consulted at least one specialist, 25 percent had visited a neurologist, and 7 percent had seen a psychiatrist. Among the hospitalized patients, 80 percent had consulted a specialist, 60 percent had visited a neurologist, and 12 percent had seen a psychiatrist.
At the end of the study, 21 percent of the non-hospitalized patients experienced an unfavorable outcome, a figure which is not so far off from the 34 percent of hospitalized patients who had the same experience.
These findings highlight the importance of proper follow up care for all individuals who have suffered even a mild traumatic brain injury. It is vital to keep this in mind when preparing personal injury claims for traumatic brain injuries. Ideally, the claim should not be settled before any necessary follow up care has been completed. This is feasible given that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years. However, if the case must be settled sooner, the estimated cost of follow up care should be included in the damages. This helps ensure that the injured victims are able to afford their necessary care.
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence, we can help you take legal action right now to secure the compensation you deserve. Simply call us at 800-333-0000 for a free initial consultation.