If your loved one experiences post-traumatic amnesia after an accident-induced coma, and the other driver's insurance company refuses to compensate them with long-term benefits, you may not know what to do about it. Post-traumatic amnesia, or PTA, occurs when someone loses their memory after waking up from a coma. But if the at-fault driver's insurance company doesn't think that your loved one's PTA is life changing or severe, it may not want to compensate them with long-term benefits. However, post-traumatic amnesia is a serious condition that can have a long recovery period. Here are things to know about post-traumatic amnesia and what you can do to help your loved one receive long-term benefits.
What's Post-Traumatic Amnesia?
PTA is typically the second stage of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when someone suddenly and violently strikes their head against a hard object, such as a dashboard, steering wheel or windshield. A TBI can also occur if something pierces the skull and damages the soft tissues inside it, such as a shard of glass or broken piece of headlight. The impact or impaling causes your loved one's brain tissue to bleed, bruise, tear, or develop another life-threatening problem. Post-traumatic memory loss can last anywhere from a few minutes, weeks or longer, and usually follows a coma, or loss of consciousness.
According to HealthCommunities.com, a coma can last for several days, or it can affect someone for years, depending on the extent of their brain injury. People who wake up from comas can experience a wide range of symptoms and problems, including memory loss. Your loved one will have problems remembering anything about their accident and why they're in the hospital after they wake up. They may or may not recognize you or other familiar faces, such as children or a close friend.
It's possible for your loved one to develop problems remembering new things, including recent conversations, what they ate for breakfast or when they last used the bathroom. In addition, your family member can experience behavioral problems, such as become aggressive with nurses or make inappropriate comments to strangers.
You may wonder if your loved one will ever get through the issues above and if there's anything you can do to help them.
How Long Will It Take Your Loved One to Recover?
Although doctors use tests and scans to measure the cognitive processes of patients with PTA and brain injuries, the test results may not reveal the actual recovery time for patients. However, doctors can give an estimate of what they think may happen based on the location of the brain injury.
For example, if your loved one suffers from frontal lobe damage, they may have problems with mobility and speaking. Your loved one may require ongoing physical therapy, speech therapy and other types of treatments during their recovery. If your loved one has brain stem damage, they may experience problems with their heart rate and breathing. The treatments for these types of problems may include using breathing machines and wearing heart monitoring devices.
To obtain the financial means to pay for your loved one's long-term care and expenses, it's a good idea that you ask a personal injury attorney. If you pursue a claim yourself, the at-fault driver's insurance company may continue to offer a poor settlement or benefits to your loved one. The first thing an attorney may do is file a claim and submit medical evidence of your family member's PTA and TBI. If the insurance company still refuses to settle the case with long-term benefits, a personal injury attorney can pursue the case in court. In most cases, the insurer will agree to an attorney's demands to avoid the extra expenses it may incur by going to trial.
For more information about obtaining long-term benefits for your injured loved one, contact a firm such as Vaughan & Vaughan.