Jun 21, 2023
Over the years, doctors have operated under the assumption that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are typically resolved with rest and relaxation. Whether the symptoms include memory loss, pain, dizziness, or headaches, physicians have long assumed that TBIs are, in most cases, temporary ailments.
However, a recent study by the University of Oklahoma indicates that the effects of combat-related traumatic brain injury can entail long-term damage which persists for years without any decreasing severity.
Let’s take a look at TBIs in greater detail below. Whether you were injured in a car, truck, slip and fall or other type of personal injury incident, we’ll review everything you need to know about how to spot and receive proper medical treatment for a TBI in the sections below.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are usually caused by a violent force to the body or head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic head injury as “a disruption of normal brain function that can be caused either by a bump or jolt, or a penetrating injury to the head.”
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by any blunt force object, like a baseball bat, hammer, or bullet – anything that is capable of penetrating brain tissue. TBIs vary in severity from case to case. Mild traumatic brain injuries may temporarily affect brain cells, but recovery is usually possible with rehabilitation. TBIs that cause bruising, tears, internal bleeding, and other physical damage to the head that can lead to long-term complications (or even death).
The Mayo Clinic states that depending on the severity, the symptoms of traumatic brain injury can cause a variety of physical and psychological effects. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the accident while others can take weeks or months to manifest. Mayo Clinic has listed some symptoms that are specific to certain types of traumatic head injury (e.g. mild, moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries, as well as those that affect children).
According to MedScape, traumatic brain injury is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of death among people aged 1-14 years. Each year, approximately 2,000,000 traumatic brain injuries occur. According to a National Institutes of Health study, 1.9 million Americans suffer a skull injury or intracranial injuries each year. In the United States, firearms are the leading cause of death from traumatic head injury. Each year, close to 20,000 people suffer gunshot injuries to the head.
TBIs are usually classified as mild, medium, or severe. TBIs affecting children are classified differently, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital confirms that a small percentage of traumatic brain injuries in children can include more severe symptoms. These include a long loss of consciousness, spasticity, muscle weakness, seizures, and more severe brain and functional problems.
The following signs and symptoms may indicate a mild traumatic injury to the brain:
Cognitive or mental symptoms:
The symptoms that commonly occur within the first few hours or days after a head trauma include:
Children and infants with traumatic head injuries may not be able communicate. Children may also experience headaches, confusion, or sensory problems. Children with traumatic head injury may exhibit the following symptoms:
Although it might seem logical to assume that car accidents are the most common cause of TBIs, the CDC confirmed in 2014 that slips and falls accounted nearly half (48%) for all TBI-related visits to emergency departments. Children and adults are more likely to fall than the general population.
The Mayo Clinic has identified additional causes of TBI, including:
Mayo Clinic notes that traumatic injury to the brain is often caused by penetrating injuries, severe blows on the head from shrapnel and debris, or falls after a blast. The same person can suffer both closed and penetrating TBI due to extreme events such as explosions or natural disasters.
Let’s look at the most common types of brain injury that are sustained after car accidents.
Let’s first examine the most common types of TBI that occur in auto accident cases. Open or closed TBI is the two main types. The skull’s condition will determine whether the TBI is closed or open. Broken skulls are classified as open TBIs.
Open TBI is also known as penetrating and occurs when the skull/scalp has been fractured or broken. If a foreign object, such as a shard of glass or a piece of metal (e.g. If shrapnel penetrates the skull and enters the brain and damages certain parts of the organ, such as soft tissue, that would be classified under an open TBI. Localized brain injury can result from such a tragic incident. The damage occurs along the path where the foreign object entered. The symptoms that can follow an open TBI vary depending on which part of the brain has been damaged.
When an external force strikes the head, the skull does not break. The skull can be fractured in a closed TBI. In a car crash, a driver can hit the dashboard or windshield with his head without breaking it. Damage can be diffuse or widespread in such cases. The symptoms of a closed TBI vary depending on the severity of the brain damage.
Many drivers and passengers who are involved in a car crash suffer from life-altering injuries. These can affect their ability to earn a living and live a fulfilling lifestyle. You may be able to receive financial compensation for your expenses and quality of life if your car accident injuries were caused by another driver’s negligence. These TBI injuries in car accidents can include:
Treatment and rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury can differ dramatically depending on the type and severity. The National Institutes of Health have outlined a variety of treatment options that can help patients recover from TBI. These include reducing or eliminating certain physical, cognitive, or emotional problems. Treatment options can vary depending on the area of the head that was injured and the severity. The NIH offers the following options to treat TBIs of varying severity:
Treatment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury:
Concussion is a common mild TBI. A mild TBI may only require rest, rather than intensive treatment. The NIH advises that patients should follow the instructions of their healthcare providers, which may include complete rest and a gradual transition back to normal activities. The healing process can be delayed if you return to your normal activities too early. Even everyday activities such as reading or working on a PC can cause brain fatigue after a TBI. Patients who have suffered a concussion might need to refrain from such activities, or take frequent breaks.
The NIH also confirms that alcohol and other drugs can delay recovery, increase the risk of re-injury and cause long-term issues, such as permanent brain damage or even death.
Treatment for TBI in Emergency Situations:
In emergency care, TBI patients are usually stabilized and kept alive. It can be as simple as ensuring that the brain gets enough oxygen, controlling the blood pressure and brain pressure and preventing any further head or neck injury. After the emergency treatment is complete, TBI care can be intensified.
Surgery is often required in severe TBI cases to reduce brain damage. Some types of surgery include:
Relief of pressure within the skull Intracranial pressure (ICP) is the intracranial force. The brain is damaged by increased pressure in the skull caused by swelling, blood and other substances. During emergency care, the ICP of a TBI patient is monitored. Some cases require a shunt, drain or hole to be made in the skull to allow fluid to drain.
The NIH emphasizes the importance of different types of therapy in helping patients recover after TBI. TBI patients can recover skills and regain functions with the help of therapy. Rehabilitation can include a variety of therapies for cognitive, emotional, or physical difficulties. Rehabilitation is also useful for some activities such as driving, self-care and social interaction. NIH states that depending on the type of injury, such treatments may be needed only briefly, either immediately after the injury or at times throughout a patient’s lifetime. In some cases, a treatment schedule may be necessary.
The therapy can begin in the hospital and continue in many places including rehab centers, skilled nursing homes, schools, homes and outpatient programs.
TBI Rehabilitation Therapy may include:
TBI victims can experience long recovery times due to severe injuries. You have legal rights if you suffered a TBI as a result of a serious accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Medical expenses, rehabilitation, pain, suffering, lost earnings, disability and more could cost you a lifetime. To ensure that your case is handled correctly, you will need a Dordulian Law Group (DLG) attorney who has decades of experience fighting for injured victims.
DLG treats you as a part of its extended family. We will do everything in our power to help you focus on your recovery, while we take care of the mounting bills and other stressors associated with a TBI.
Sam Dordulian is DLG’s founder and president. He and his team of TBI lawyers have helped clients recover more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
You can contact one of our TBI or personal injury lawyers by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM. We are here to help answer any questions you might have and ensure that you better understand your legal rights following a TBI. DLG does not charge upfront fees and there are never any out-of pocket expenses – you won’t pay anything until after we’ve successfully secured a maximum cash settlement for your TBI case.
Call us at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to find out more about our expert TBI legal services.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.