Accidents are inevitable. Road accidents, accidents at the workplace, and slip and falls are prevalent, and hundreds of Americans die from them every day. The survivors of these accidents may suffer severe injuries that often leave them scarred for life.
One of the worst injuries that an accident survivor can suffer from is a traumatic brain injury. The brain can suffer from traumatic injuries resulting from an excessive blow, force, or penetrating injury to the head. Statistics by BrainLine show that almost 3 million Americans are treated for traumatic brain injuries every year.
Mild traumatic brain injuries may have temporary effects on the brain cells of the victim. Severe injuries, on the other hand, are caused by objects penetrating the brain tissue. When these objects shatter or damage the skull, the jolt causes a severe traumatic injury in the brain.
Common Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A violent jolt or blow to the head can cause severe brain damage. In most cases, the first damage is the disruption of the normal functions of the brain. The sudden blow to the skull may pierce brain tissue, causing such symptoms as:
- Decreased or loss of consciousness
- Amnesia and degrading short-term memory
- Deficiency of the focal neurological capabilities e.g., loss of sight, speech alteration, and muscle weakness
- Poor mental performance such as slow thinking, difficulty in concentrating, and disorientation
A traumatic brain injury symptoms may vary from patient to patient, and depending on the severity of the injury. The symptoms may mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage in the brain.
This post will cover the broad types of traumatic brain injuries as well as their top three. Read on to learn and gain insights on what to do if you or someone you care about is a victim.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The phrase ‘Traumatic Brain Injury’ is an umbrella term that defines various impact-related injuries on the brain. Within it are many types of specific injuries from the patient suffers. A medical professional will always specify the type of injury the patient suffers.
It is essential to know the different types of injuries to decide what steps to take to get treatment and justice. Here are the six types of traumatic brain injuries and a brief definition of what they are.
Hematoma – This can be a blood clot in the brain tissue or on the surface of the brain. A hematoma can occur anywhere within the brain.
Contusion – This is the bruising of the brain tissue. Cerebral contusions may look like a bruise on any other part of the body under the microscope.
Hemorrhage – this refers to bleeding within the brain tissue. In some injuries, the symptoms of internal brain bleeding may not be immediately noticeable.
Diffuse injuries – Microscopic changes in the brain caused by an impact on the brain may not be readily noticeable on the CT scan. These injuries may be scattered all over the brain. They may occur with or without a mass lesion injury.
Ischemia – This type of diffuse injury results in an insufficient blood supply to various parts of the brain. The low blood supply in the brain may lead to other adverse effects such as sensitivity to light and migraines.
Skull fractures – Fractures on the skull occur when there are linear cracks or breaks on the skull. Skull fractures can be alarming and can be problematic to treat, especially if the nerve ends are affected.
There is a lot of information that an average American needs to know about brain injuries. More importantly, those brain injuries that result from avoidable trauma. This Guide to Brain Injury Personality Changes contains detailed information on the many unexpected changes a patient may undergo after a brain injury.
Close to half of all the cases of traumatic brain injuries in the United States are caused by falls. Over 1.3 million people, a majority being infants and seniors, are treated for brain injuries after falls every year.
The CDC also reports that one in 10 US citizens aged 18 and older report falling at least once every year. This shows how prevalent such accidents are. Traumatic brain injury is just one of the many injuries that Americans suffer every year.
It is important to note that while an accident is not avoidable, most of the injuries resulting from falls are preventable. Most falls are often due to poor working conditions at workplaces, workers working with faulty equipment, and negligence.
Patients who suffer from traumatic brain injuries at work may be eligible for compensation. They can sue to be compensated for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of livelihood and source of income
- Wrongful death
- Medical bills.
Family members of the patient are also allowed by law to file a lawsuit on behalf of the patient. It is essential to understand all the legal options available to the victim in such a case before filing a lawsuit.
2. Traffic Accidents
A study published by ScienceDirect shows the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries among survivors of vehicular accidents. Post-mortem reports and clinical records across the country show that as many as 68% of fatalities in traffic accidents showed traumatic brain injuries as the causes of death. The Center for Disease Control cites road crashes as the leading most preventable cause of traumatic brain injuries.
The study, carried out between 2001 and 2005, showed that as many as 69 percent of the accident victims suffered skull fractures while an average of 54% suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. Most victims in the study were adult males between the ages of 21 and 40, and fatality rates were at 40%.
Patients with TBIs who made it to the emergency room after the traffic accident have a higher chance of surviving. The high number of lawsuits involving motorcycle, truck, and car accidents in courts today attest to these accidents’ prevalence. The law is strict on drivers and road users who cause such accidents to deter careless driving and promote the observance of the traffic laws.
If you or someone you care about has suffered traumatic brain injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. Most defendants in these cases are drivers who broke the traffic laws or failed to operate their vehicles responsibly.
3. Assault and Gunshots
Aggression is the third most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. While it is common, brain injuries that result from acts of aggression are often challenging to treat because the victims rarely ever get help in good time. Most assault cases that end up as brain injuries are sustained from physical attacks, including robbery, domestic violence, child abuse, and rape.
Acts of violence, in some cases involving firearms, are the top cause of traumatic brain injuries among Americans aged between 15 and 24. It is also the leading cause of fatal injuries among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
The most common symptom of brain injuries caused by assaults is concussions and contusions. A concussion is a mild injury that may not lead to permanent injuries. However, unless treated on time, it could lead to loss of consciousness and further brain injuries. Contusions are more severe as they are bruises to a specific area of the brain. An impact to the head with a blunt or sharp object causes the contrecoup injury.
The most complicated of all traumatic brain injuries resulting from attacks and acts of aggression are gunshot wounds. The number of people surviving gunshot wounds to the head has been on the rise for over three decades now. This is the most likely cause of a traumatic brain injury among residents of all urban centers in the United States.
The Law and Brain Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries are commonly casually referred to as “invisible injuries’ in legal circles. This is because, unlike other injuries, the patient may look and act as if they are not injured. Injuries without visible symptoms such as bleeding and fractures in the skull may go unnoticed until the symptoms are severe.
It is not uncommon for a victim of an accident to carry on as normal for a while after the injury. They only begin to realize that something is wrong when they start struggling with memory loss, concentration problems, impulsivity, and poor emotional control.
There are common misconceptions about brain injury that ultimately prove costly to the patient. The most prevalent is that if a patient recovers from a concussion and continues their day, they are “normal.”
Speak With A Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Detection and evaluation of a brain injury are scientific and precise. Accident and assault victims who suspect brain injuries are encouraged to undergo neuropsychology and neuropsychological testing processes. These processes may involve brain imaging to identify any brain injuries and defects as early as possible.
To most patients, the urgency in which they get proper medical checkup and treatment could mean life or death. At the very least, patients with severe traumatic brain injuries have to worry about the permanence of the damages resulting from the injury.
If you or someone you care about may have sustained a brain injury, take the time to understand the condition and learn the best ways to go about seeking treatment and legal support. To seek legal help for a brain injury speak with a traumatic brain injury lawyer to discuss the details of your case.