What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when a person suffers a sudden blow or jolt or when an object pierces their skull. The movement or penetration can cause the brain to bounce or twist out of place or damage the brain tissue.
TBIs can result in injured brain cells or broken blood vessels, which can lead to various symptoms and conditions. Depending on the severity of the TBI, the effects of these injuries and the amount of time they can last vary. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that TBIs contribute to a significant number of disabilities and deaths. According to the CDC, in 2019, there were 61,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S.
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
There are a couple of different types of TBIs. Closed TBIs occur when a person sustains a blow, jolt, or bump. Penetrating TBIs happen when an object goes through a person’s skull.
According to the CDC, the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Falls: Falls from any height can potentially lead to a closed TBI. However, it is possible for a fall to cause a penetrating TBI if the victim’s head collides with an object.
- Car accident: This can include accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The sudden impact is likely to lead to a closed TBI.
- Violent acts: Violence may include assault or abuse that leads to a closed or penetrating TBI.
- Explosives and firearms: Being hit in the head by bullets, shrapnel, or other debris that can lead to a penetrating TBI.
- Sports: People who play contact sports, such as football, soccer, or boxing, may be tackled, hit, or tripped, causing a closed TBI.
How Serious Are TBIs?
Both closed and penetrating TBIs are serious. That said, TBIs are often referred to by their severity: mild, moderate, or severe. Regardless of the level, each can lead to symptoms that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to return to normal activities. In some cases, they can lead to long-lasting mental health conditions such as anxiety or PTSD.
The symptoms of mild TBIs include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
- Speech problems
- Blurred vision
- Sleep issues
- Mood changes
The symptoms of moderate to severe TBIs include, but are not limited to:
- Constant or worsening headaches
- Continuous vomiting
- Loss of coordination
Additionally, an individual with a moderate to severe TBI might experience different levels of consciousness. For instance, they might slip into a coma, enter a vegetative state, become minimally conscious, or suffer brain damage.
What Are the Treatments for TBIs?
If a person is exhibiting signs or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, it is critical that they get medical attention immediately. The physician will conduct a series of tests, such as a neurological exam, CT scan, or MRI, to determine the severity of the injury.
Depending on the seriousness of the condition, the doctor may prescribe different types of treatments. For instance, a person with a mild TBI may be ordered to bed rest, which may lead to improved symptoms within a few days or weeks. However, in more severe cases, treatment may include medication and/or surgery. The individual may also need rehabilitation.
How to Pursue a Claim After Suffering a TBI
A traumatic brain injury can severely impact a person’s life, mentally and physically. Additionally, the medical care needed to treat the injury both now and in the future can be extensive and lead to high bills.
If a person’s TBI was caused by an accident where another person was at fault, they might be entitled to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Still, holding the at-fault party responsible can be challenging, especially when trying to recover from injuries.
At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C., we are here to help those harmed because of someone else’s negligence or reckless acts. We are committed to holding wrongdoers accountable and seeking justice and fair compensation for the people we serve.