CT Scans for Traumatic Brain Injuries

CT Scan

A CT scan, also referred to as computed tomography or CAT scan, is a medical tool utilizing a computer and a series of X-rays. It generates cross-sectional imaging of the body or head for disease or internal injuries. The computer can create three-dimensional scans, alter planes, or manipulate images. A radiologist will examine the scan through the analysis of contrasting colors to understand what is occurring inside the body. Through the assessment of abnormality location, density, shape, and size, a physician can obtain more details on a suspicious area and confirm a diagnosis through CT scans.

Computed tomography is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure for imaging. It is more comprehensive than X-rays as it provides more information associated with diseases or injuries. CT scans show detailed images of soft tissue, internal organs, blood vessels, and bones. They are often utilized to diagnose musculoskeletal disorders, infections, appendicitis, cancer, heart disease, and trauma. A skilled radiologist will look at the CT scans, interpret the images, and prepare a report to send to the treating physician who will discuss the clinical findings with the patient.

What is the Role of IV Contrast in CT Scans?

The administration of intravenous (IV) contrast for CT scans significantly enhances the precision of the examination and assists in ruling out various life-threatening conditions, including cancer. IV contrast is primarily utilized in highlighting key distinctions between soft tissues that would otherwise appear similar on imaging. IV contrast is generally used for abdominal CT scans for the diagnosis of intraabdominal trauma. Conversely, non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography is usually indicated for patients with extremity and spine trauma.

When is a CT Scan Indicated for Head Trauma?

Computed tomography scans of the brain may be ordered to evaluate the structures of the brain and pathology, including ischemic processes, fluid accumulation, and tumors or masses. It is often indicated for hydrocephalus, skull fracture, hemorrhage, and bone abnormalities. It may be performed with or without contrast. In most cases, contrast is not indicated for CT scans of the brain.

How to Prepare for a CT Scan

Patients may be asked to follow these steps based on the area of the body that is undergoing computed tomography scans:

  • Do not drink or eat for a few hours before imaging
  • Wear comfortable clothing, as you may wear a gown
  • Remove metal objects like jewelry and belts as they may disrupt the clarity of the imaging results

Before a CT scan, patients should inform the radiologist if they have any allergies, particularly to contrast dye. Patients may have to take steroid medications to avoid an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Challenges Involved in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases From Accidents

There are unique challenges involved in every personal injury case involving a TBI. In cases where an individual sustains a moderate or severe TBI in an accident, it is essential to thoroughly document long-term requirements to maintain their quality of life. This may encompass ongoing medical treatment, time in a long-term care facility, and services from in-home nursing professionals. In mild TBI cases, it is often necessary for the plaintiff’s counsel to conduct an in-depth analysis of the client’s injuries and losses to overcome any defense tactics by insurers to downplay causation and damages.

There are neuropsychological assessments, diagnostic imaging like CT scans, and other evaluations to help the plaintiff’s counsel understand patient complaints. However, it ultimately comes down to the client’s consistency and credibility to support their claim. It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to damage the claimant’s credibility through various defense tactics. Claims adjusters may imply that the claimant has sought excessive treatment, has exaggerated their complaints, or did not maintain consistent treatment for accident-related injuries reported in their case.

A knowledgeable attorney well-versed in California personal injury law and has experience handling TBI cases can help juries and judges understand the science behind accident-related injuries. The right lawyer can demonstrate through clear and compelling evidence the unique symptoms experienced by their client due to the traumatic brain injury and the incident itself. This is not always a straightforward process. Proving a TBI case requires extensive research, expert witness testimony, and sophisticated presentations in the trial. With the right attorney, reported symptoms can be linked to the TBI.

How Personal Injury Cases Are Complicated by Pre-Existing Conditions

Research has suggested that individuals, particularly those with a history of pre-existing learning disabilities, neuropsychological disorders, migraines, and head trauma, are more susceptible to complications from TBIs. It is not uncommon for insurers to use pre-existing conditions against a claimant. This is often in an attempt to argue that symptoms are not from the incident and occur due to pre-existing conditions. An experienced personal injury attorney will build a strong case to link a client’s TBI symptoms to the accident and demonstrate how crash-related injuries have impacted their life.

What to Consider When Looking for a Personal Injury Attorney

Before retaining legal counsel, it is a good idea for an injured party and their family to consider an attorney’s experience handling TBI cases. When meeting with a lawyer, a new potential client should inquire how long the attorney has practiced personal injury law and how often they handle head trauma cases. The new potential client should also ask the lawyer how frequently they consult with expert witnesses, including neuropsychologists, neurologists, and other specialists. The right TBI attorney should be experienced in these cases and provide individualized support throughout the process.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in California

If you or a family member sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable California personal injury lawyer. The right attorney should have a proven track record of success in handling complex TBI cases, excellent reviews posted online by satisfied clients, and experience dealing with difficult insurers and defense counsel. You will receive that when you work with our legal team here at AutoAccident.com. We encourage you to contact our law office today for free, friendly advice on your potential TBI case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

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