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Often caused by jarring or a blow to the head, traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects approximately 1.7 million people per year. The statistics for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are a little less concrete since not all cases are diagnosed. However, it is estimated that around eight percent of all Americans, or about 24.4 million people suffer from the condition. Many are victims of assault or war, but experts now believe that those who experience a TBI may be more likely to also experience PTSD. What does this mean for accident victims?
Understanding the Potential Link
Scientists have long suspected there may be a link between TBI and PTSD, and a growing body of evidence suggests they may be correct. One such study was one conducted on war veterans who had experienced a blast while deployed. In it, researchers found that TBI sufferers were twice as likely to also develop PTSD. Unfortunately, no one has understood the correlation between the two. A study on laboratory rats offers some insight.
Conducted by the University of California, the animal study found that rats who experienced a traumatic brain injury and were then exposed to fear conditioning had a response in the brain’s amygdala. This area of the brain absorbs sensory information, and changes in it could amplify the experience of fear, making the likelihood of developing PTSD higher.
What the Link Means for Accident Victims
Every accident situation is unique, but those that experience a traumatic brain injury may, in fact, be more likely to also experience PTSD. This should be taken into account when calculating settlement amounts, especially if the TBI sufferer has already had a traumatic experience, or works in an industry that they may be more likely to experience trauma. It should also be noted that the accident itself can lead to symptoms of PTSD, particularly if the incident was highly traumatic in nature.
Unfortunately, ensuring the likelihood of PTSD is factored into a settlement may not be easy. Even more troubling is the fact that many PTSD sufferers go undiagnosed, often because of the lack of understanding within the medical community. As such, victims should seek guided legal assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. This can help to ensure that the appropriate medical professionals are consulted, and that the rights and best interests of victims are protected.
Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney. Dedicated and knowledgable, we will fight for the compensation that you and your family deserve. We provide compassionate representation and always pursue the most compensation possible. Learn more about how we can help with your case by calling 630-920-8855. Schedule your free inititial consultation today.