Accidents of All Types Can Cause Serious Brain Injuries. Know Your Rights If You’ve Been Affected.
Acollision with a large truck, a faulty product, and a workplace accident: All are serious catastrophes that could cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, you may have many questions. Brain injuries are much more complex and dangerous than most other physical consequences of such incidents. Even with intense treatment, some victims will never be able to fully recover. Both their lives and those of their loved ones are likely to undergo substantial changes.
An injury in the family can give rise to all sorts of concerns, including financial ones. Medical bills can add up quickly, and with a provider out of work, it may be a challenge to put food on the table, much less fund specialty treatment. If you are in this situation, we could be able to help. With a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue justice against the negligent person(s) who caused the accident.
The Basics of Traumatic Brain Injury
Not every brain injury is a TBI, and not every TBI is life-threatening. The word “traumatic” in this case has to do with how the injury was caused, not its impact on the victim. Any time an abrupt force causes the brain to suffer injury (compression, squeezing, bruising, etc.), the damage will be referred to as a TBI.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
If you want to get more specific about how the trauma affected the brain, the type of injury a victim sustained may tell you more about their condition. The types vary in severity and prognosis, though they may share symptoms due to the interconnected nature of the brain. They are:
- Concussion: The most common type of TBI, characterized by damage to the cranial nerves and blood vessels. The damage resembles a milder form of diffuse axonal injury.
- Contusion: When the head impacts an object at high speed, the brain is likely to bleed and form a bruise. For most other body parts, bruising isn’t a big deal; however, loose blood in the brain can have a number of adverse effects, so brain contusions should be promptly treated.
- Coup-Contrecoup: Sometimes the forces involved in an accident cause the brain to impact the front of the skull, then rebound and impact the back of the skull. The first injury is known as the “coup” injury and the second, which will be directly opposite the first, is the “contrecoup” injury.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): When the brain moves around within the skull, axons (nerve connector cells) may be stretched and torn. These injuries are very serious, as torn axons will not be able to repair themselves.
- Penetration: Penetration injuries are what they sound like—damage caused by an item (such as a bullet or a knife) that breaks through the skull and enters the brain directly. Though they are not always fatal, the survival rate for these injuries is much lower than that for other types of TBI.
Classifying Brain Injuries by Level of Harm
It can be difficult to identify the amount of damage a brain injury has caused because the symptoms are so diverse. There is also no way to know, without a full assessment, what parts of a victim’s cognitive abilities have been affected. Using a patient’s initial symptoms, doctors will determine the degree of injury to guide later treatment and rehabilitation efforts.
- Mild brain injuries, also known as concussions, do not result in a major loss of consciousness but can cause victims to feel dizzy and confused and develop a headache and/or vision problems. Even these injuries can cause long-term symptoms despite their relative lack of severity.
- Moderate brain injuries typically cause loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or more and may result in a brief coma. Victims may respond to stimuli, but cannot spontaneously or actively open their eyes, move, etc.
- Severe brain injuries result in a coma that lasts for more than 6 hours, and in which the victim does not respond even to stimuli. The damage at this level is such that a patient will likely have disabilities for the rest of their life.
Your Next Steps After a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain after an accident has caused you or a loved one to experience a brain injury, you are not alone. It’s natural to have questions and doubts if you find yourself in this situation.
Even if you do not think you want to sue, we urge you to learn what your legal rights are in this situation. Our team will sit down with you completely free of charge to evaluate your position and provide advice. If life changes have required you to re-imagine your future, it’s good to know all your options before you make any final decisions. Let us help you determine whether a personal injury suit could help you receive compensation after an accident.