A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious injuries an individual can sustain, and it is unfortunately more common than most people realize. Statistics show that TBI affects about 2 million U.S. residents every year, 50,000 of whom do not survive and 275,000 of whom require hospitalization.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when a violent jolt or blow causes the brain to slam against the skull, thus impairing its function. Brain injuries can either be open or closed. Open brain injuries (also known as penetrating brain injuries) occur when an object strikes and breaks through a person’s skull, penetrating the brain. In a closed brain injury – such as a concussion – the skull does not break.
Contrary to the common belief that TBI occurs only when a person sustains a blow to the head, TBI can also occur when the brain is forcefully jarred in different directions, as in the case in abrupt deceleration or a whiplash.
Common causes of TBI relevant to the personal injury space include:
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding TBI’s is that the victim must be struck on the head or knocked unconscious in order to have suffered an injury to the brain. According to a study done by Ezriel Kornel, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Michael Freeman, Ph.D, whiplash (which often occurs in motorcycle and automobile accidents) caused TBI in over 23% of cases. Whiplash can even result in a cerebral hernia, known as Chiari Malformation, in which the bottom part of the brain (the cerebellum) protrudes through the base of the skull.
Doctors classify brain injuries as mild, moderate, or severe depending on such symptoms. As fragile as the brain is, even mild cases can turn out to be life-threatening, so learning to recognize the symptoms of TBI is essential.
Those who suspect they may have sustained a brain injury should seek medical care immediately, as early treatment may help improve the long-term prognosis. Unfortunately, brain injury symptoms can be difficult to identify. Medical professionals may even have difficulty diagnosing brain injuries upon examination and testing. It is common that early characteristics of a TBI are missed or not yet fully developed. It is vital to keep a close watch for these signs of TBI after an accident:
TBI injuries are devastating and can impact the ability to live a normal life. TBI symptoms vary by individual, and it is difficult to predict whether they will improve or worsen over time. Some of the long-term effects and symptoms include:
Ryan receives no attorney fee and you pay no legal expenses as his client unless he gets you paid! Ryan’s firm has over 350 years combined experience in legal representation, and has won over $1.8 billion dollars in cash settlements for his clients. He has mastered the art of managing clients’ cases with empathy, compassion, respect, and of course prodigious skill. Reach out today for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your accident and your options.
State law limits the time that you have to file a claim following a car accident. If you’ve been hurt in a wreck, call now for the help you need.