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Can Emergency Rooms Fail to Diagnose Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Nearly two million traumatic brain injuries occur every year in the US.

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Brain injuries can be tough to diagnose if a doctor doesn't know what to look for.

Photo by: Pete Linforth via Pixabay

It is estimated that 1.7 million people in the US suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) annually. Of these victims, 52,000 lose their lives, 275,000 require inpatient hospital care, and nearly 1.4 million receive emergency treatment before being released. This begs the question, are emergency rooms properly handling traumatic brain injuries?
TBIs are frequently the result of both motor vehicle and worksite accidents. A person's chances of recovering from a TBI increase exponentially if the injury is quickly diagnosed, but often times emergency rooms fail to recognize traumatic brain injuries. ER doctors and staff are trained to look for life threatening issues first; however, mild TBIs do not always cause immediate major symptoms in a patient, leaving an enormous chance for them to be overlooked. 
Reports have shown that emergency rooms can fail to diagnose or even document certain types of head trauma. Whereas something as noticeable as a cracked skull will generally be immediately diagnosed, subtler types of head injuries may not be caught by the first doctors to examine them. If a patient then follows up with other medical providers after the first ER trip, the lack of documentation and diagnoses on TBIs can lead to further delays in treatment.
Complicating the issue further, some physicians are not experienced in mild traumatic brain injuries, preventing them from recognizing 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.
Dangers of Delayed Diagnosis with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Of course, a delay in diagnosis means a delay in treatment for the traumatic brain injury. This is especially troubling in matters concerning the brain, as failure to treat the injury in quickly can cause more severe, long term problems to arise from the initial injury.
Injured patients will face an even steeper uphill battle arguing that the accident caused their TBI 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 such arguments to deny liability in a  personal injury claim, denying patients the financial assistance they will need for treatment and recovery.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Strengthen Injury Claims
Experienced personal injury attorneys have the knowledge to understand medical records and connect a victim’s injuries to a specific incident. 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 the accident that actually cause them, thus allowing the victims to receive the compensation they deserve. With excellent legal counsel, injured victims can focus on healing and moving forward rather than fighting with insurance agencies.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer at The Law Office Of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider contacting 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 866-878-6774 or contact us via our website.  Let the Law Firm of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP help you put your life back together!