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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

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A traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a TBI, is one of the most devastating types of injuries. How can someone sustain a TBI? What are the symptoms and effects of this injury? Here’s everything that you need to know:

What is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury occurs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that results in brain damage. TBIs are typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the area of the brain that has been affected and the extent of the brain damage. They can also be classified as open or closed, depending on whether the skull has been broken or not.

Causes of TBIs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.7 million people sustain TBIs every year. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs, and are especially common among children under the age of four and adults over the age of 75. About 17% of TBIs are sustained in car, motorcycle, or truck accidents. These injuries often occur when a driver or passenger hits their head against the windshield, dashboard, steering wheel, or window of the vehicle in a collision. The third and fourth leading causes of TBI are being struck by an object and being assaulted, which account for 16.5% and 10% of all TBIs, respectively.

About one-fifth of injuries fall into the “unknown cause” category. It is believed that many TBIs within this category are caused by injuries sustained while playing soccer, football, boxing, hockey, and other sports.

Symptoms of TBIs

Symptoms of a TBI will vary depending on the severity of the injury. A victim with a mild TBI may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes, however some mild TBI victims do not lose consciousness at all. Mild TBI victims may also experience confusion, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping after an injury. Even their senses can be affected after a TBI. For example, mild TBI victims can start to develop blurry vision or hear a ringing sound in their ears. It’s also normal for a mild TBI victim to experience mood changes after an accident. The victim may report feeling depressed or anxious, or may exhibit abnormal mood swings.

The symptoms for moderate and severe TBIs are usually similar. These victims will definitely lose consciousness and they may remain unconscious for hours. Victims that regain consciousness may experience horrible headaches, vomiting, weakness or numbness, fluids draining from the eyes or ears, and seizures. They may be confused and unable to remember what happened, which makes it difficult for them to communicate even after regaining consciousness.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

Anyone who loses consciousness needs to seek medical treatment immediately. But remember, it’s possible that you will not lose consciousness if you sustain a mild TBI. Therefore, do not assume that you have not suffered a TBI just because you remained conscious. It’s recommended that you seek medical treatment right away if you have hit your head, even if you don’t think the injury is serious. Many of the TBI symptoms may not appear for several hours, so even if you think you’re fine immediately after a fall or car crash, it’s possible that you could have sustained a mild TBI.

Treating TBIs

There is no way to treat a mild TBI, however a doctor maybe able to prescribe medication to alleviate the pain and other symptoms. Mild TBI victims will also need to be closely monitored by loved ones to ensure their condition does not get worse, which is a sign of a more serious brain injury.

Treatment a moderate or severe TBI is a bit more challenging. Once the victim has arrived in the emergency room, the doctors will focus on providing them with adequate oxygen, maintaining their blood pressure, and limiting the damage. Patients may be given diuretics intravenously to reduce fluids and swelling in the brain. In severe cases, the patient may require emergency surgery. Sometimes, the purpose of the surgery is to remove a piece of the skull in order to alleviate pressure while other times, surgeons will repair existing skull fractures.

Most moderate and severe TBI victims will require rehabilitation after they regain consciousness and have stabilized. The goal of rehabilitation will depend on the area of the brain that was damaged as a result of the injury. Sadly, many severe TBI patients will need to relearn how to walk or talk after an injury.

The results of treatment can vary. Some TBI victims may see vast improvements after going through rehabilitation, while others may see little improvement in their condition.

Recovering Compensation For TBI Victims

TBIs are not only incredibly expensive to treat, but they can also drastically reduce the quality of a victim’s life and make it impossible for the victim to return to work for months or years. For these reasons, victims deserve to be compensated when they suffer a TBI as a result of another person’s negligence. For example, let’s say you sustained a TBI in a car accident that was the other driver’s fault. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is legally obligated to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, calculating how much compensation you are entitled to receive and negotiating with the insurance company can be difficult, especially when you should be focused solely on your recovery. To make the process easier, it’s important to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Have you sustained a traumatic brain injury? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".