Traumatic brain injuries, referred to as TBIs, are damage caused to the brain by an external physical force – such as from a car accident. TBIs are not caused by anything internal (such as a stroke). Those who suffer from a TBI may not be aware of it immediately – and some do not have symptoms or loss of consciousness at the scene of the accident.
For a person to suffer from a TBI, one of the following must be observed:
- Documented loss of consciousness
- The person cannot recall the event – suffering from amnesia
- The individual has a skull fracture, post traumatic seizure, or abnormal brain scan
- There is damage to the brain tissue, caused by an external force
What Causes TBIs?
There are numerous causes of TBI injuries. According to a 2004 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of TBIs was falls, and car accidents followed at a close second. Also, being struck by an object accounted for 19 percent of the total number of injuries.
Types of TBI Injuries
The brain consists of three to four pounds of delicate soft tissues that float in fluid inside of the skull. Under the skull, there are different layers of membranes that cover and protect the brain. When there is damage to any of these layers, it can result in devastating (and often permanent) damage. The most common types of TBI injuries seen include:
- Closed Head Injury – This means that the skull and brain have not been penetrated. The common example of this type of injury is in a motor vehicle accident where the brain is struck by the dashboard or a flying object.
- Open Head Injury – This involves some sort of penetration into the brain and through the protective layers. It is often localized damage, and is limited to a specific area of the brain – while closed injuries can be throughout.
- Skull Fracture – This is when the skull is broken or dented. Pieces of the bone can press against the brain and lead to injury.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury – This is when damage to the brain is throughout, and often, there is a loss of consciousness at the time of the injury.
The Severity of Brain Injuries Can Vary
Sometimes, brain injuries are minor and temporary, while others can be permanent – even life-threatening. The severity of extent of the injury assesses the overall damage to the tissue, and the area in which the brain was injured. Using the Glasgow Coma Scale, doctors can measure the depth of a coma related to a brain injury. This assess the patient’s ability to open his or her eyes, move, or add in any verbal responses. Other ways to assess the severity can include MRI and CT scans. These will also help keep track of any recovery, or if the injury worsens.
Did You Suffer from a TBI? Contact an Attorney Right Away
If your TBI injury was the result of someone’s negligence or intentional acts, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. TBIs often come with long-term issues, and patients spend thousands in treatments – and some have their lifespans significantly shortened.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.