(Mis)Diagnosis and (Mis)Treatment of Accident-Related Head Injuries

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Falls and motor vehicle collisions cause most of the serious head injuries in the United States. Each year, almost three million people receive treatment in emergency rooms because of these injuries. Although these wounds are permanent, prompt and proper diagnosis, followed by extensive physical therapy, eases the symptoms.

While a St. Louis personal injury attorney is not a doctor, an attorney quickly connects victims with doctors. And, this doctor usually specializes in falls, motor vehicle collisions, and other such incidents. As a result, these professionals know how to recognize head injuries, and they know how to address them. Generally, if you get a fast start, you have a good chance of winning the race.

Diagnosing Head Injuries

Most physicians rely on signature symptoms to diagnose injuries. Unconsciousness and vomiting are the two signature head injury symptoms. But not all victims have the same experience. Frequently, head injuries leave people feeling dazed, but they do not lose consciousness. Adn, many people feel nauseated but do not vomit.

Additionally, many physicians mistake these symptoms for shock following the accident. That’s especially true in collision-related TBI cases.

Because of these factors, the head injury misdiagnosis rate is considerably higher than the overall misdiagnosis rate, which is about 20 percent

Lack of communication and lack of evidence are the driving forces behind this misdiagnosis problem. During appointments, most doctors only listen to their patients for a few seconds. No one can learn any meaningful information in such a brief time. Furthermore, many doctors do not run a full battery of tests, because they are afraid the insurance company will not pay for them.

TBIs and Physical Therapy

When collision and fall victims break bones, physical therapy progress is relatively easy to track and manage. The victim’s strength and range of motion usually improve steadily. That’s because, in most cases, the physical therapist must only strengthen some weak muscles.

Brain injury physical therapy is different. These therapists must train uninjured areas of the brain to take over lost functions. This process is quite long, and progress is often uneven. A sudden breakthrough might occur after several weeks, or even several months, of little or no progress.

As a result, many physical therapists prematurely state that victims have reached their MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement). If that happens, the victim might be forced to deal with symptoms that additional physical therapy could have reduced or eliminated.

An attorney advocates for victims in these situations, although in most cases, the legal portion of the case is over. 

Recovering from brain injuries is a struggle. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money. 

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