Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury is physical brain damage resulting from sudden impact with an external force such as the dashboard of a car or a bullet. It’s ironic but the very structure meant to protect our brain, with just enough force, can also damage it. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from sudden impact of an external force to the skull. This could be caused by the impact from a car accident or a concussion from vigorous sports activities.
Most traumatic brain injury accidents are preventable and caused by another person’s carelessness. Any TBI, whether mild or severe, is of serious concern. After all the brain is arguably the most important organ in the body, responsible for who we are and what we can or can’t do.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. TBI can cause an array of physical, cognitive and emotional changes. They can leave an individual with significant and irreversible impairment. Much depends on the severity of the impact and area of the brain affected, especially recovery from injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
The Brain Injury Association of America reported that 5.3 million Americans live with a long-term disability as a result of TBI. Some more facts about TBI:
- 75% of traumatic brain injuries are mild.
- Motor vehicle and traffic accidents account for 31.8% of TBI deaths.
- TBI is responsible for around 2.5 million ER and hospital admittance.
- Males are more likely than females to sustain a TBI at any age.
- The annual cost of TBI to society exceeds $76 billion dollars.
Causes of Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury occurs in three general ways:
The Head Being Struck with Force
This type of injury can occur from motor vehicle crashes, firearms, and physical violence, such as hitting or striking with an object.
The Head Striking an Object
The most common instance of the head striking an object is in falls, often during sports-related activities. Some of the more common activities include tackle football, rugby, skiing, skateboarding, bicycle riding, horseback riding,etc. These injuries are often seen in children.
The Brain Undergoing Violent Movement
Any rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head can pull apart nerve fibers and cause damage to brain tissue. This type of injury often occurs as a result of motor vehicle crashes and physical violence, such as shaken baby syndrome.
Types of TBI
TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury. A closed head injury occurs when an object does not break through the skull. A penetrating head injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.
A skull fracture occurs when the bone of the skull cracks or breaks. A depressed skull fracture occurs when pieces of the broken skull press into the tissue of the brain. This can cause bruising of the brain tissue, called a contusion. A contusion can also occur in response to shaking of the brain within the confines of the skull, an injury called “countrecoup.”
Shaken baby syndrome is a severe form of head injury that occurs when a baby is shaken forcibly enough to cause extreme countrecoup injury. Damage to a major blood vessel within the head can cause a hematoma, or heavy bleeding into or around the brain.
The severity of a TBI can range from a mild concussion to the extremes of coma or even death. A coma is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness.
Effects of TBI
Prompt and proper medical care is crucial in the first few hours and days following a traumatic brain injury. In addition to primary trauma caused by the incident, secondary injuries must be prevented to avoid further damage. Brain bleeding in particular must be mitigated during critical care to evade further losses. In its initial stages, it can be difficult to access the long-term effects of TBI.
Diffuse brain damage is the result of the brain moving back and forth inside the skull, which causes deterioration in many areas. The major speech and language centers are most often affected by this type of TBI because they sit in pockets that allow for a significant amount of movement during a traumatic event. Speech and language problems, sensory disturbances, cognitive impairments and central nervous system damage are all possible outcomes of TBI.
Long-Term TBI Suffering
The aftermath of traumatic brain injury can be arduous for the patient and his or her loved ones both financially and emotionally. A TBI survivor may have difficulty with concentration, decision making and problem solving. There can be extensive changes in their personality, making them question who they are. They may feel unable to relate to others, depressed or hopeless.
Treatment of TBI is catered to an individual’s specific impairments. Rehabilitation involves teams of medical professionals who specialize in physical, cognitive and psychosocial therapies. The costs for such treatment can be overwhelming, but we want our loved ones to receive the best care possible.
For families suffering with traumatic brain injury recovery, the right resources can make all the difference in the world for getting life as back to normal as possible.
Why Do I Need a Brain Injury Attorney?
Through experience and education, the attorneys of The Oshman Firm are able to evaluate traumatic brain injuries and successfully pursue claims on behalf of the injured plaintiff.
It’s always important to consult with an attorney regarding brain injury cases. There are many times when a victim may not be aware of their legal rights, but we can investigate the facts and determine whether or not you have a right to compensation.
Additionally, depending on the extent of your injury, you may have the right to public and private benefits such as Social Security Disability, Medicare, or private insurance payments.
For more information about TBI causes or to schedule a free evaluation, contact us today at (800) 400-8182 or online. Case evaluations are free and of no obligation to you. Our firm will never charge a fee unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement on your behalf.
For more information related to brain injuries please see our Brain Injury FAQs.
Additional Resources For Victims of Brain Injury
- National Institutes of Health
- Brain Injury Resource Center
- Centre for Neuro Skills ®
- Brain Injury Resource Foundation
- Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center
- Brain Injury Association of America
- National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Integration of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury
- The American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
- Brain Injury Society
- Brain A Journal of Neurology