A Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury And Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In Auto Accident Victims
We wanted to give a shout out to Matt Dolman. As a Florida lawyer, he sees a lot of those in the Chicano and Cuban communities who need a good personal injury attorney. Se we asked him his thoughts on brain injuries and this is what he told us. A series of recently published studies suggest that individuals who suffer even a mild traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder and should take precautions to avoid stressful situations for at least a finite period of time. The motivation behind this research was to determine the correlation between a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The reasons for this correlation are still unknown to many medical practitioners.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a persistent and highly devastating condition that affects approximately 8% of the general population in the US and 15% to 30% in specific high-risk groups. It is defined as an anxiety disorder pertaining to four individual criteria’s: 1) exposure to or witnessing of an event that is threatening to one’s well-being; 2) symptoms of re-experiencing, such as disturbing memories, nightmares, a sense of reliving the trauma, or psychological and physiological distress when reminded of the trauma; 3) avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or reminders of the trauma, and inability to recall parts of the trauma, withdrawal, and emotional numbing; and 4) arousal, as manifested in sleep disturbance, irritability, difficulty concentrating, or heightened startle response. These symptoms must cause marked impairment in functioning and persist for at least one month post trauma.
In the US alone, the estimated annual rate for TBI is 220 cases per 100,000 people. It is often accompanied by post traumatic amnesia regarding events that occurred both after the injury and immediately prior to it. Some researchers have argued that limited awareness at the time of the trauma makes it less likely that traumatic memories can be fixed and that, as a result, these memories remain unavailable for the mediation of re-experiencing symptoms. PTSD or acute stress disorder cannot be diagnosed. For example, in a study of 47 patients with moderately severe TBI, none fully met the criteria for PTSD: despite reporting partial PTSD symptoms—particularly, symptoms of avoidance and arousal—none endorsed symptoms of re-experiencing.
As a Florida traumatic brain injury attorney, I not only focus on the impact that the closed head trauma has on my client but his family as well. Brain injuries are inherently difficult claims due to the expenses associated with litigating such expert laden cases along with the fine detail that goes into effectively presenting such a cause of action. Many law firms advertise or hold themselves out as brain injury advocates when in truth they often lack experience handling such a niche and fluid area of the law and medicine. At Dolman Law Group, we routinely handle closed head injury/brain injury claims throughout the State of Florida and have been retained by other lawyers to co-counsel such cases. If you have any questions concerning a head injury claim, please contact Dolman Law Group at: (727) 451-6900. – Matthew A. Dolman, Esq.