Traumatic Brain Injury Is Not Always Immediately Apparent August 24, 2010.

Traumatic brain injury can’t be seen and is often not diagnosed until it may be too late.

"In my line of work I see many cases of traumatic brain injury, usually as the result of an accident: motorcycle crash, car wreck, truck collision, slip and fall or even sports related injuries. Unfortunately, mild cases are not always detected right away, which can cause a lot of problems later – up to a year later in some cases," added Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland malpractice lawyer specializing in Cleveland medical malpractice cases and traumatic brain injury in Ohio.

In the U.S. alone, there are over 1.5 million victims of accidents of one sort or another who will end up in the hospital with non-fatal traumatic brain injury. "Other figures I have seen also indicate that at least 3 million sports related traumatic brain injuries never get sent to the hospital. This is an enormous problem if you stop to think about it. Undiagnosed brain injury completely messes up the victim’s life and they may not even know why they are having problems," added Mellino.

Speaking of sports like football, soccer, polo, jai-alai, hockey, volleyball and basketball, etc., victims who suffer brain injury while playing often fall into the category of mild traumatic brain injury. In these cases, the victim rarely loses consciousness and the changes in their brain are so microscopic they will not be detected by doing a CT scan or an MRI. The further bad news is that sometimes symptoms won’t manifest until two weeks later and in some cases, a year later.

"The delayed onset of traumatic brain injury symptoms has enormous consequences for lawsuits as you may well imagine," Mellino added. "This is one of the major reasons I tell clients to never underestimate a head injury and insist on medical follow-up no matter how trivial they may think their accident was. The problem is not everyone recalls hitting their head at the time of the accident and the medical staff may overlook checking the head in favor of fixing the visible broken bone instead," he observed.

Just because mild traumatic brain injury does not manifest right away, or it can’t be "seen" means that many people who have this will go undiagnosed, facing multiple problems that range from the inability to express themselves properly as they once did to suffering from impaired reasoning skills. The difficult thing is that if they don’t recall hitting their head, they may fear for their sanity.

"If their brain trauma was the result of someone else’s negligence, this is yet another reason to ‘not’ sign anything an insurance company hands you. Most insurance companies are trying to settle the case fast and cheap," commented Mellino, a Cleveland malpractice lawyer specializing in Cleveland medical malpractice cases and traumatic brain injury in Ohio. Traumatic brain injury is a silent enemy and rapidly becoming an epidemic in the U.S.