Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 5, 2012 – Getting blown up regularly while on patrol in Afghanistan is taking its toll. Traumatic brain injury is at an all time high for returning military personnel.
“Who would have thought military personnel fighting a war would sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) in any other way, other than a fall, being involved in collisions or being hit in the head? Turns out, explosions involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are causing soldiers untold grief. The unfortunate part is that TBI is a silent and unseen injury, which makes it hard to treat, and harder to pay compensation for if the soldier’s cognitive abilities are impaired,” explained Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
Overseas is a hot spot in war torn Afghanistan where U.S. military personnel, and other fighting forces, patrol shell shocked villages, trying to keep the peace and quell the insurgents. Part of their job includes regularly getting blown up, usually by roadside bombs being lobbed into convoys of armored trucks. In many cases, the personnel inside the tanks are shaken up like pills in a nearly empty bottle. Some slam their heads against the inside of the tank and black out.
Often the effects of such an impact are not felt until later, but they do show up, presenting the telltale signs of nausea, vomiting and headaches. Along with that often comes distorted vision, difficulty talking properly and an inability to concentrate or comprehend others. It’s not just hitting one’s head inside a tank that causes TBI either. It is the concussive waves propelled by the blast that buffet those within range. Again, another unseen attack that has the potential to cause brain damage.
“The hardest thing to come to terms with is that there are cases where there are no symptoms of concussion. However, that does not mean the brain did not sustain trauma from the shaking caused by a bomb. The military is doing a better job of identifying and treating cases like this, but we need to be aware that many service members, including those that don’t have symptoms, often come home and have untold difficulties because they don’t understand what is wrong,” Schuelke added.
Although the Army is making great strides in identifying TBI, they have not had a particularly good track record until recently. They are now endeavoring to spot TBI near the battlefield, and pull participants out immediately; a difficult task made all the more difficult by the fact it cannot be seen, and does not always show itself by manifesting the classic symptoms that may also be mistaken for post traumatic stress disorder.
“Back home, there are many civilians that suffer TBI as a result of falls, car crashes and sports injuries. If negligence is involved in those cases, this is something that needs to be discussed with an Austin personal injury lawyer. TBI is a lifetime issue. Treatment and care are expensive. If you need help, that is what I am here for,” Schuelke stated.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
1717 W. 6th Street, Suite 375
Austin, Texas 78703-4868
Call (512) 476-4944