Our experience as personal injury attorneys in Colorado exposes us to a wide range of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to auto accidents or major slip-and-fall events. The healing and rehabilitation phases of such injuries generally last for weeks or months. But when these injuries occur in early childhood, there can be longer-term effects that go unrecognized. This can be attributed to several factors:
First, young children lack the verbal skills to effectively communicate their symptoms at the time of the injury. If the child is conscious and not obviously, physically ill, he or she may not even be seen by a physician. Scans may not be taken, and follow-up may be lacking ― so the overall diagnosis is missed.
Second, certain latent effects in emotional, behavioral and learning development may not become evident until years after the injury ― a phenomenon neurologists and psychologists refer to as growing into the injury. Until the child’s peers are learning to read, or are developing age-appropriate social skills, it’s not apparent that a deficit exists.
And third, parents and caregivers may fail to connect the dots ― to associate later psychosocial and intellectual development issues with a seemingly benign injury that occurred years earlier.
What does all this mean in the legal realm? If your child sustained a TBI due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else, your civil lawsuit or settlement may need to address the need for ongoing evaluation to be sure that any subsequent TBI effects are recognized and treated.
Don’t lose track of your child’s development or the chance for intervention that can help keep him or her on track. Be sure that your brain injury attorney consults with the latest research and experts to secure your ongoing rights to full and fair compensation.