What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Per the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injuries fall into one of two categories: (1) Acquired brain injury (ABI), which is caused by “internal factors” such as oxygen deprivation, and (2) traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is caused by some kind of external trauma.
A TBI often results when a person:
- Strikes or is struck by an object
- Experiences a sudden and violent jolt or shake of the head
- Is struck by an object that penetrates the skull
In other words, a TBI occurs due to head trauma. As the CDC explains, serious head trauma damages the brain’s structures, impeding the brain’s normal function. This can change the way a person:
- Thinks (impaired memory and reasoning ability)
- Experiences sensations like touch, taste, and smell
- Communicates (impaired ability to speak and understand others)
- Controls emotions and interacts socially.
Some people recover to varying degrees after undergoing treatment for TBI. But others never regain normal brain function. These victims often require ongoing medical treatment and even assistance with the basic tasks of daily living, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
If you or a loved recently suffered a head injury in an accident, doctors may have told you that the injury is one of these common types of brain damage:
i.e., a “bruise on the brain.”
This type of TBI typically results from a direct impact to the head. Surgery may be required in order to release pressure and facilitate continued oxygen flow.
This TBI often results in a person being unconscious or feeling disoriented for a brief period. Serious concussions are known to cause excruciating headaches, dizziness and lack of balance, and in an extreme case, can lead to personality changes, depression, anxiety, and serious emotional distress. Suffering one concussion makes a victim more susceptible to additional concussions. Multiple concussions can lead to a degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
This TBI is usually caused by a severe jolt to the head or a sudden and severe shake or rotation of the head, which results in widespread damage to the brain’s structures. The brain essentially slams against the interior structure of the skull due to the magnitude of the force involved. Diffuse axonal injury is one of the most common types of brain injuries suffered by car accident victims.
“Coup” and “contrecoup” are French for “blow” and “counterblow,” respectively. The coup lesion is the bruise that results from trauma at the additional point of impact. The contrecoup lesion is the bruise that that results from the brain jolting back and hitting the skull on the opposite side. The combination of the two lesions can cause shearing of the brain’s internal lining, tissues, and blood vessels, which can lead to internal bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the brain.
Penetrating Head Trauma
This occurs when an impact breaks the skull. When this happens, pieces of bone and/or foreign objects can enter the skull cavity, severely damaging brain tissue. Needless to say, this type of TBI can be extremely serious depending on how much and what parts of the brain are impacted.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Signs of a mild TBI can include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, speech problems, dizziness, loss of balance, sensory problems (blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell), heightened sensitivity to light or sound, loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes (or a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented), memory or concentration difficulties, mood changes, feelings of depression or anxiety, difficulty sleeping and sleeping more than usual.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, moderate-to-severe TBIs can cause loss of consciousness for a period of several minutes to several hours, persistent headache, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, dilation of one or both pupils, clear fluids draining from the nose or ears, inability to awaken from sleep, weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes, agitation, vast confusion, significant loss of coordination, slurred speech, coma and other disorders of consciousness.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Sadly, many TBIs are the result of preventable accidents caused by negligence. According to the CDC, the most common causes of the estimated 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries that occur annually in the United States are:
- Motor vehicle accidents (14.3%), including truck accidents, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents that occur on Ohio roadways
- Falls (14.3%)
- “Struck by/against events” (15.5%) including recreation-related events, parking gate arm injuries, amusement park accidents, etc.
- Assaults (10.7%)
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury
A person who has suffered TBI may require medical care that includes:
- Immediate emergency medical treatment
- Imagining, including X-rays, MRIs or CT scans
- Surgical intervention to remove blood clots and damaged brain tissue, repair skull fractures, and relieve pressure
- Intensive medical care
- Lengthy convalescence and rehab, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling and therapy
- Medicines, such as anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, muscle relaxants, and stimulants
Typically, the treatment team for an individual with a serious TBI includes medical professionals from a variety of specialties, including primary care, neurology, surgery, physical therapy, and psychology, often at a specialized clinic.
The cost of treatment can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars within a short period of time following the injury and as much as millions over the victim’s lifetime, depending on the age of the victim and the severity of the TBI.
Our goal is simple:
To be the Best Ohio Brain Injury Lawyers For You.
Our goal is to provide you with the most outstanding legal representation possible, not only by marshaling our considerable experience, dedication, trial lawyering ability, and grit to obtain the highest possible settlement or verdict in your case, but by treating you – and every one of our clients – with dignity, respect and compassion. Let us be your Ohio brain injury lawyer during your time of need.
Call us today at (513) 621-4999 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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