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Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury Fatigue and Treatment

Approximately 32 to 37 percent of individuals who have suffered a brain injury experience fatigue. When it comes to mild injuries, fatigue will only persist temporarily. However, for those who experienced moderate to severe injuries, fatigue may continue for years. It can easily and negatively impact an individual’s ability to work, study, and enjoy life. The connection between TBI and fatigue is not yet understood, but its effects can be measured and do have real consequences.

Below, our experienced brain injury attorneys will discuss TBI-related fatigue, as well as the way that fatigue can be measured. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about brain injuries and available damages.

What Is TBI Fatigue?

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Fatigue is difficult to measure. As it relates to TBI, it is known as a decrease in capacity in mental and physical activity. This type of fatigue is caused directly because of a brain injury. It is sometimes characterized by muscle weakness, lack of motor skills, and depression. TBI patients often report a lack of motivation, boredom, anxiety, and weariness.

What Causes Fatigue?

Fatigue is believed to be caused by diffuse axonal injury and other types of injury to the brain’s areas that are responsible for regulating attention, arousal, and speed of response. Because an individual with TBI is impaired in these areas, it is thought that such tasks are more mentally demanding, thus resulting in a chronic state of fatigue. There is also a correlation between fatigue and severity of attention problems, and there is an association between an increase in blood pressure and the added effort, which only causes more fatigue and emotional stress.

There does not seem to be a connection between fatigue and the severity of a brain injury. However, those with the most severe TBI tend to work less, which can have a negative effect on their emotional life.

There is also a belief that neuroendocrine abnormalities are evident in many people with TBI, which can explain the presence of marked fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

How Is Fatigue Measured? 

The truth is that there is not a specific and reliable test to measure fatigue. There are several fatigue tests used to assess how health conditions affect an individual. These tests typically measure fatigue severity and how it affects a person’s lifestyle. Data is all self-reported and is necessarily subjective.

The Visual Analogue Scale for Fatigue has been used for people with TBI and  measures fatigue and energy levels. The Fatigue Severity Scale assesses the effects of fatigue and how it impacts daily functioning. The Barrow Neurological Institute Fatigue Scale relates to daily energy levels and alertness.

How Do You Treat Fatigue?

An individual with TBI will have to make several modifications, depending on the severity of their injury, to live a day to day life. It may be necessary for them to limit cognitive and physical activity, such as working less, slowing down their pace, avoiding too many complex tasks, and getting more rest.

An individual with TBI will likely benefit from psychological help and will need to learn coping strategies to deal with their limitations. Physical conditioning programs can help with certain symptoms, but will not improve energy levels.

Some people use Modafinil, which is an awakeness-promoting drug used to treat excessive sleepiness. Bright Light Therapy is another option for fatigue and daytime sleepiness. A recent pilot trial discovered that there was a reduction in self-reported fatigue and sleepiness with daily exposure to short wavelength light.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here To Help 

If you are a brain injury victim and need help getting legal advice, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced brain injury attorneys that will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.

No fees are paid until your case is settled.We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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