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New Study: Mild Brain Injuries Have Severe Consequences In Minnesota

Brain Injury

Even a mild brain injury brought on by something like a shock wave doubles a person’s future dementia risk, according to a recent study.

Researchers looked at the medical records of over 350,000 returning servicemembers from Iraq and Afghanistan. About a fifth of these individuals sustained at least one mild Traumatic Brain Injury, mostly because of proximity to an explosive blast. The shock wave did not cause a concussion or other such immediate damage. In fact, a significant number of the patients studied did not even lose consciousness. Nevertheless, the mild TBI permanently disrupted brain functions. Researchers arrived at their conclusions after factoring in things like age, psychiatric conditions, and medical history.

The doctors who conducted the study speculated that the loss of white matter and inflammation following a mild TBI created a more fertile environment for neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid beta plaques, both of which are common dementia precursors.

Brain Injury Diagnosis Issues in Minnesota

The same shock waves which are common in combat are also common at car crash scenes in Minneapolis. The high-speed collision between two objects radiates sound waves which, in many ways, mimic the sound waves from an explosive blast. So, dementia is a very real post-car crash consequence.

The risk of future injury is just as high whether or not the victim “feels” hurt. The brain is very good at disguising its own injury. Moreover, according to the aforementioned study, the risk is just as high even in patients who have no symptoms whatsoever.

But most trauma physicians still diagnose head injuries according to classic symptoms, such as unconsciousness, vomiting, and headaches, or cognitive impairment. Mild TBIs do not fit this profile and so fall under the radar in Minnesota.

Dementia has a serious impact on the victim and on the victim’s family. The medical bills and other economic losses just by themselves are substantial. There’s also the emotional distress and other noneconomic injuries commonly associated with dementia.

Obtaining Compensation for Latent Injuries in Minneapolis

Some car crash injuries, like broken bones, are apparent immediately. But other car crash injuries, like TBI-induced dementia, may take years to form. By that time, the statute of limitations has already expired. But sometimes, the discovery rule may be the victim/plaintiff’s saving grace.

This rule is especially applicable in toxic exposure cases, like asbestosis, The statute of limitations, which is usually two years, does not begin running on these injuries right away. Instead, the clock does not begin ticking until after the victim discovers the injury and connects that injury with the tortfeasor’s (negligent party’s) action or inaction.

Typically, when a Minneapolis victim/plaintiff accepts a settlement, the paperwork usually contains a waiver of civil actions. So, it is important that all current and future claims be included in the settlement. Your attorney can give you additional guidance here so you are not left on your own for future medical bills. It’s also important to always keep going to the doctor until the physician actually discharges you. You may “feel fine” but still not be entirely well.

Contact a Tenacious Attorney

Car crashes often cause serious injuries that may not readily be apparent. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota, contact the Gunther Law Office. Home and hospital visits are available.


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