Traumatic brain injuries have emerged as a leading injury among service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They occur when the head suddenly hits an object, receives a blow, or when an object pierces the skull, causing brain damage. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of the brain damage. Often TBIs are not immediately obvious.
The leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are bullets and explosions, falls, motor vehicle crashes and assaults. The widespread use of improvised explosive devices increases the likelihood that military personnel may be exposed to blasts that could cause a traumatic brain injury. In fact, among service members medically evacuated between January 2003 and June 2007 from combat theaters in Iraq or Afghanistan to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 30 percent had sustained some form of traumatic brain injury, according to the Defense and Veterans’ Brain Injury Center.
Traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly in symptoms from mild cases that involve confusion or being dazed, to severe cases that may involve an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia. With mild traumatic brain injuries, which are known as concussions, there may be no visible head injury. Symptoms can be subtle and similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The injury can be serious nonetheless.
Veterans may experience physical symptoms including headaches and dizziness, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating and sleep disturbances. Mild traumatic brain injuries can have lasting effects on veterans’ ability to return to work.
In 2008, the VA revised its regulations regarding traumatic brain injuries, notifying veterans that their disability rating for traumatic brain injury could potentially increase, even though their symptoms may not have changed.
If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits on the basis of traumatic brain injury or other service-related disabilities, contact an experienced VA Disability Attorney at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, today by calling toll-free 1-877-Veteran (877-526-3455)