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Do Emergency Rooms Always Catch Traumatic Brain Injuries?

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Hospital brain scan on Long Island.

It is estimated that 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year in the United States. Of this group, 52,000 will die; 275,000 require inpatient hospital care; and close to 1.4 million are treated and later released from emergency rooms. However, are emergency rooms properly handling traumatic brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common in motor vehicle accidents and on-the-job accidents. An individual’s chances of recovering from a traumatic brain injury increase exponentially if the injury is quickly diagnosed. However, many emergency rooms fail to diagnose traumatic brain injuries. Emergency room physicians, nurses, and staff are trained to look for life threatening issues first. Mild traumatic brain injuries may not be caught right away because they do not always cause major symptoms in a patient. Some reports show that emergency rooms fail to diagnose or even document certain types of head trauma. Whereas a cracked skull will likely be immediately diagnosed, other more “subtle” types of head injuries may not be caught before a patient is released. If the patient follows up with other medical providers after the initial emergency room visit, the lack of documentation on the injury may lead to a further delay in treatment.

Further, many physicians are not experienced in mild traumatic brain injuries. They may not recognize the signs of a TBI in the weeks after an accident. If the patient is relying on his insurance company to choose a doctor for treatment, the insurance company may select one that does not have experience in traumatic brain injuries as well.

The Dangers of Delayed Diagnosis With Traumatic Brain Injuries

Of course, a delay in diagnosis means a delay in treatment for the traumatic brain injury. A failure to treat the injury in a timely manner may lead to more severe injuries—many of which permanently affect the patient.

Additionally, injured patients will have a difficult time arguing that the accident caused their traumatic brain injuries if there is a delay in diagnosis. Insurance companies are quick to point out these delays as an alleged sign that the accident did not cause the injury. Insurance companies use these arguments to deny liability in a personal injury claim.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Strengthen a Traumatic Injury Claim

Experienced personal injury attorneys know how to study medical records and connect a victim’s injuries to an accident. The accident attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP have represented dozens of victims in traumatic brain injury cases and have helped them prove that their injuries were related to an accident—allowing them to obtain the compensation they deserve. With excellent legal counsel, injured victims may focus on healing and moving forward.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. We will fight the insurance companies to make sure you are fairly compensated. To schedule your free consultation, call 516-358-6900 or contact us via our website.  Let the Law Firm of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP help you put your life back together!

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