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TBI: Why it is Known as the “Invisible Injury”

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a much more common form of injury than most people realize, and the effects of even a minor TBI can be profound. However, many of the effects of a TBI are not immediately apparent and can often be written off as mundane cognitive or memory issues, which has led TBIs to be dubbed “the invisible injury.” As a result, many people suffer TBIs every day who do not even realize how they have been affected by their injury.

TBI refers to any injury to the head that results in substantial damage to the brain. While this can be caused by a blow to the head or by an injury that punctures the skull, even an event that simply causes a person’s head to shake can cause a TBI from the brain impacting against the inside of the skull. As a result, not every TBI is immediately distinguishable from a more mundane head injury, and it is possible for someone to suffer a TBI without even realizing it.

The symptoms of a TBI can vary wildly, depending on what part of the brain was injured and how severe the injury is. Here are just some of the most common symptoms found in sufferers of TBIs:

  • Headache, especially one that does not go away, or which increases in intensity
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Memory loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty with speaking
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior
  • Disruptions to sleep, including increased difficulty waking up or falling asleep

In mild cases, TBIs can often be mistaken for other, more mundane ailments, like mistaking a TBI-induced headache with a regular migraine or sinus headache. Another common example is when victims of TBIs are older, when memory loss is more likely to be diagnosed as being related to dementia than a TBI. Additionally, symptoms of a TBI do not always manifest immediately, sometimes taking days or weeks to become apparent, which can make it harder to determine exactly when the injury occurred.

In more severe cases, TBIs can severely impact memory, cognitive ability, and motor coordination, potentially resulting in long-term health complications that can impair your ability to take care of your day-to-day tasks. Some people who suffer a TBI can find themselves no longer able to work and may spend the rest of their lives relying on disability benefits. However, because many people suffer TBIs without experiencing injury to the rest of their body, it can go surprisingly unnoticed, or merely attributed to a quirk of someone’s personality.

That is why anyone who suffers a head injury, even a seemingly minor one, should make sure to see a doctor for potential signs of a TBI. Even if you do not feel any physical discomfort from your injury, you may be experiencing symptoms from a TBI that are negatively impacting your life without you realizing it. And if you have suffered a TBI due to an accident, you should consult a personal injury attorney to fully explore your legal options.

If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (866) 800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.