Suffered a Cerebral Contusion? Our Firm Can Help
Cerebral contusion, or bruising to the brain tissue, is unfortunately a common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The effects it has on one’s health and life are varied and could necessitate numerous forms of medical intervention. Because some cases of cerebral contusion are caused by another party’s poor decisions, it can also form a part of the compensable damages in a personal injury action.
If securing legal counsel to protect your rights is necessary, our team of experienced cerebral contusion lawyers is ready to fight for you to recover the maximum compensation owed to you.
We offer a sound, team-oriented approach when handling personal injury cases involving cerebral contusions. Not only can our attorneys aggressively advocate for you in settlement or trial, but they can also guide you through the entire process with compassion and empathy.
Talk to a Los Angeles cerebral contusion lawyer about your case or contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation.
What Is A Cerebral Contusion?
Cerebral contusions (contusio cerebri) are a common kind of TBI that result in localized bruising of the brain tissue. They can result from blunt force trauma to the head and may even be classified as a coup-contrecoup injury. They can be followed by cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) within 48 to 72 hours after the initial injury. Just like external bruises on skin or muscle, these contusions can result in microhemorrhages (the leaking/bleeding of numerous blood vessels).
What is the Difference Between a Contusion and a Concussion?
A contusion is defined by the bruising and bleeding of localized tissue. A concussion is a classification of a type of brain injury accompanied by varying symptoms, including confusion, memory loss, headaches, problems concentrating, sensitivity to light or noise, fatigue, dizziness, and/or irritability. Another difference is that a concussion only affects the brain, whereas a contusion can affect any part of the body.
Symptoms of Cerebral Contusions
The symptoms of cerebral contusions can include seizures, problems with coordination, headaches, and fainting, and may even progress into complications such as hydrocephalus, disability, and even death.
Seizures may occur immediately after a TBI injury, but they can also happen long after, such as when a TBI patient develops epilepsy. Seizures that happen as a direct consequence of TBI are referred to as “post-traumatic.”
Cerebral contusions can affect motor coordination and performance in moderate to severe cases. In general, this symptom involves a compromise of one’s ability to balance and maintain his or her previous fine motor skills (such as tying shoe laces). Unfortunately, making a full recovery of one’s motor skills is rare, although improvement through rehabilitation is certainly possible.
Post-traumatic headaches are also a most common symptom of a TBI. The frequency, severity, and duration of the headache can vary greatly.
Long Term Effects of Cerebral Contusions
Cerebral contusions may be responsible for a variety of long-term impairments, including cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, and chronic pain.
Impairments Resulting From Cerebral Contusions
Individuals affected by TBIs like cerebral contusion are more likely to suffer from cognitive insufficiency, which can last for extensive periods of time and may necessitate numerous compensatory strategies and the retraining of various skills, including memory, language, and social behavior.
Executive dysfunction – executive function describes all thinking skills that involve decision making, problem solving, or planning, completing, and reflecting on actions. Executive dysfunction manifests as difficulties with the motivation and initiation of action, problems with organization, planning, thinking flexibly, solving problems, or controlling impulsivity.
Language Disorders – TBI-caused language disorders include dysarthria, or nervous system damage that weakens the muscles used for speech, apraxia or the loss of control over speech muscles, and dyspraxia, or difficulty verbalizing what one consciously intends to say. However, post-TBI communication problems vary considerably from person to person.
Social Cognition – social cognition (SC) encompasses anything that involves processing and generating appropriate and accurate social behaviors. For example, TBI may cause a patient to struggle with perceiving social cues, displaying empathy, or understanding others’ intentions. They may also unintentionally seem indifferent, egocentric, or aggressive and impulsive to others.
In part this may be due to the difficulties TBI presents to facial affect recognition; in other words, TBI patients may struggle to read the emotional significance of others’ facial expressions. Impairments in social cognition can interact with other common features of TBI, such as depression.
Learning & Memory – TBI typically affects short-term memory more than long-term memory, meaning that learning new information may be especially difficult. It also presents difficulties for the prospective memory of “remembering to remember,” as in recalling where one left their keys, or to pay the phone bill. Such symptoms may also affect the patient’s ability to recollect the incident of their injury.
Disordered Attention – Attention disorders and deficits are generally defined as a maladaptive balance between “voluntary and involuntary attention.” This can range from being easily distracted, to being unable to “monitor and resolve conflict“.
One of the most common attention deficits experienced by those who have suffered a TBI is the inability to filter out irrelevant information, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and heightened distractibility. For people in roles that require prolonged periods of sustained attention, impairments in attention can have a tremendous impact on their ability to perform their role and may lead to significant lost earning capacity.
Perceptual-Motor Dysfunction – these dysfunctions involve a host of hand-eye coordination abilities, amongst other perception and motor skills. For example, common therapeutic activities for perceptual-motor dysfunction include pen-and-paper tasks, object manipulation, and computerized activities like cursor manipulation. Such dysfunctions may also affect timing and time-sensitive abilities, like the control of one’s pace while walking or even how quickly or slowly to speak while holding a conversation.
Brain injuries may alter the way people experience and express their own emotions. Emotional impairments that can result from traumatic brain injuries coupled with cerebral contusions include:
- Low mood
- Emotional lability, or sudden mood swings such as being “happy one moment, sad the next“.
- Uncontrollable emotional outbursts, such as laughing or crying, that do not necessarily correspond with how the person feels. For example, they may laugh in response to something sad, even though they do in fact feel sad.
Rehabilitation Following A Cerebral Contusion
Detailed medical assessments should be performed on a TBI patient before cognitive rehabilitation begins as all such treatments should be “tailored to individual needs.” There are standardized assessment scales for assessing cognitive function. They examine the areas of auditory and visual attention, learning and memory, language, executive function, general intellect, and psychomotor function.
Cognitive rehabilitation is typically divided into two distinct approaches: the restorative and the compensatory.
The restorative approach aims to bolster and restore impaired skills, such as regaining one’s ability to speak clearly if his or her speech was affected. This often includes repeated use of standardized cognitive testing with increasing difficulty in order to gauge and reinforce all the specific cognitive domains involved (for example, working on selective attention skills separately from working on memory skills for new information).
The compensatory approach instead focuses on bypassing or compensating for impairments of a more permanent nature, like habitual use of assistive technologies (AT) such as alarms and reminders.
Cognitive rehab is rarely a stand-alone therapy for patients. It is better thought of as one part of a multi- or interdisciplinary approach. For example, surgery may also be necessary to treat a cerebral contusion. There are also numerous forms of rehabilitation therapy available to holistically help patients recover in the aftermath of the injury. The more severe the injury, typically the more intense the rehab regimen should be to prevent further degradation. This could include acute inpatient rehab, which means three or more hours a day of the core therapies (physical, occupational, and speech).
Compensation & Liability For Cerebral Contusions
Persons who have suffered a TBI due to the fault of another may seek compensation for the nature and extent of his or her injuries. That includes past, present, and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Our team stands ready to help you or your loved one to get the compensation and closure you or your loved one deserve. For more information on the implications of a brain injury, visit our traumatic brain injury page.
Banner image from Unsplash
Admitted to practice in 2006, Armen has arbitrated, tried, and settled several cases which have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.
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