Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 24, 2020

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Traumatic brain injuries are often colloquially referred to as the “invisible injuries” due to the fact that they are notoriously difficult to identify and diagnose. Many brain injuries, ranging from mild to moderate, have symptoms that are extremely subtle and not immediately recognizable to the average person. Thus, a brain injury can go undiagnosed and untreated for a dangerously long period of time. 

Why Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Invisible?

When a patient is taken to a doctor or hospital for examination, brain injuries can be difficult to identify, even through extensive examinations and scans. The difficulty of the diagnosis may depend on the nature, age, and type of injury, but some traumatic brain injuries can escape detection for such long periods of time that the injury may worsen, or the victim may find him or herself in the baffling situation of suffering symptoms with no known cause.

Contributing to the invisibility of a brain injury is the fact that, due to its very nature and its effect on the brain, the sufferer cannot always notice it himself, or properly articulate the problem, even if he is aware something is wrong. A brain injury can affect how a person communicates, processes information, and perceives reality. Thus the person may find himself either doubting the reality of the symptoms he is experiencing, or feeling that vocalizing them will lead to disbelief or distrust on the part of his friends, family, or medical professionals.

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Traumatic Brain Injuries and Lawsuits

Because brain injuries can be so hard to identify and diagnose, if you suspect you may have a brain injury, you should wait until you are sure before accepting any lawsuit settlement offer after an accident. Consulting with a lawyer is advisable as you proceed with any personal injury case that involves a brain injury.