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What is Considered A Traumatic Brain Injury Under the DBA?


What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are two main causes of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). The first is hypoxia: deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching body tissues. The second is traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be classified as mild if loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation is shorter than 30 minutes. These time of TBI are called Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI).

All Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) are usually caused by some kind of blow to the head and are called “concussions” or “traumatic brain injuries”.

While MRI and CAT scans are often normal, the individual has cognitive problems such as headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration. These injuries are commonly overlooked. Even though this type of TBI is called "mild", the effect on the family and the injured person can be devastating.

Those suffering Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) typically experience a range of impairments and levels of disability that in the long run, are often poorly associated with injury severity.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is extremely common. There are an estimated 350,000 new cases each year and according to the National Center of Health Statistics, approximately 85% of all traumatic brain injuries are classified as mild.

The signs and symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) may include:

1. A brief period of unconsciousness
2. Amnesia for events immediately before and after the injury
3. Memory or concentration problems
4. Confusion
5. Dizziness or loss of balance
6. Headache
7. Mood changes
8. Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth


What if I have these traumatic brain injury signs and my doctor hasn't diagnosed my brain injury?

Traumatic brain injuries are oftentimes missed by medical professionals. If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered an undiagnosed brain injury, you should raise this issue with your doctors. Take this list with you and explain to your doctor the signs and symptoms you or a loved one are experiencing. In our experience, injured workers in California with traumatic brain injuries are often missed by insurance company doctors. Instead, the  California workers comp doctor will say, "You are fine, back to work." Even if there are demonstrated signs of brain injury by the California worker.

Of course, this doesn't just happen in California workers compensation cases. It occurs with people who have brain injury caused by defective products, brain injury caused by car accidents, brain injury caused by boat accidents and brain injury caused by ship accidents also.


Overseas Civilian Contractors and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Don’t be confused with the word "mild." Many DBA workers have suffered brain injuries with severe symptoms.

When working overseas these brain injuries are typically caused by IED’s, shrapnel, concussive blasts, trauma or automobile accidents.

Brain injuries are considered “Unscheduled Injuries” under the Defense Base Act. Meaning, there is no "scheduled" amount of compensation if you have a brain injury. Instead, compensation for brain injuries is based upon a wage loss concept. Meaning, that once you prove you are unable to return to your usual and customary employment, the burden shifts to the DBA insurance company to prove that you are able to perform specific jobs with you brain injury.


The DBA Insurance Company Can Deny Your Brain Injury Claim

You will see that getting treatment for a traumatic brain injury, mild or severe, from a DBA insurance company is not always easy. You will need to be ready to fight for the full treatment you or your family member need. This treatment can include:

- Neuro-psychologists
- Rehabilitation Services
- Attendant Care

To get the best treatment possible and speed along your recovery you are going to need to hire a well-seasoned DBA attorney, prepare for you case and tell the truth. I cannot stress enough how important all of these things are to win your case.

You will lose your case if the DBA insurance company and their lawyers find a way to make you out to be a liar in front of the judge. Remember they get paid a lot of money to delegitimize claims, no matter how much you need that medical care.

Which is why you need to hire a lawyer that knows what to expect when they walk into a DBA case, why you need to get all the necessary evidence and documents together and why you need to be completely honest with everything involved with you DBA claim.


To learn more strategies to help you win your DBA case, get a FREE copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.

William Turley
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