Common Terms to Know with TBIs


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are a severe injury that can occur after a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or even a medical error. Sadly, TBIs are becoming more common now that technology knows how to detect them. In some cases, TBIs are minor, and a victim makes a full recovery. In other instances, the victim is left with permanent deficits.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI, plenty of terms will be thrown around at doctors’ appointments, meeting with your injury attorney, and talking to specialists. Therefore, it is important to understand these terms and know what they mean for your case.

TBI Terminology to Know

Anyone suffering from a brain injury will be confused and even intimidated by the road ahead. To help you understand the nature of your injury, this glossary of basic terms teaches you what professionals are saying when they use the words around you.

  • Ambulation – This refers to the ability to walk, which you may lose if you have a severe brain injury. You could require ambulatory assistance; therefore, you need help getting around.
  • Aphasia – When particular area of the brain is affected, you may be unable to express yourself or understand language.
  • Apraxia and Ataxia – They sound the same, but they are not the same. Apraxia means that a person cannot do complex or skilled movements because of deficiencies in their understanding. They are not paralyzed, but these movements are now hindered due to visual changes. Ataxia refers to muscle coordination, which happens with brain lesions. It interferes with a person’s ability to walk, eat, drink, and do other daily care tasks.
  • Areas of the Brain – Various parts of the brain control different functions. For example, the right temporal lobe involves visual memory, while the left temporal lobe involves verbal memory. The parietal lobe can lead to visual-spatial deficits if it becomes damaged, which means you may not be able to speak or understand written words. The occipital lobe involves visual information and the ability to see. Lastly, the cerebellum controls movement and is located at the back of the head.
  • Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) – After a severe brain injury, a patient is likely to be in a coma. The GCS is a system used to determine the degree of brain deficits and impairment, and to determine the seriousness of the injury itself.
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) – The GOS classifies the potential outcome of a traumatic brain injury. It also establishes functional independence and how much functionality might be restored.
  • Professionals – Numerous professionals will be introduced to the initial care and later stages of a TBI. For example, a speech and language pathologist will come in to help treat problems with speech, language, and cognition. A physiotherapist might be used to help maintain and improve the function of the joints, especially while the victim is in a coma. An occupational therapist is there to help those with brain injuries learn how to redo activities and even train to adapt to any deficits they may permanently suffer.

When Negligence Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury, You Have Rights

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, and the accident that caused the TBI was due to someone’s negligence, you have the right to hold that person financially accountable for your injuries. Speak with an attorney today from Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary, P.S. to explore your options.

Schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney now by calling 509-586-7797 or request more information online.

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