What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are injuries that affect how a person’s brain functions and are often caused by penetrating injuries to the head (like a gunshot) or hits or jolts to the head. According to the CDC, in 2019 over 223,000 hospitalizations were TBI-related, and in 2020, about 176 people died from a TBI-related injury in the United States. TBIs are often sustained after people have been the victim of a:
- Car, motorcycle, or truck accident
- Domestic violence incident
- Medical malpractice cases (most commonly birth injuries)
- Slip and fall accident
- Sports-related tackle or hit
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs are typically categorized based on their severity: mild, moderate, or severe. Types of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Concussions, which are mild injuries to the head caused by a blow to the head or hit to your body that causes you to hit your head against a hard surface or object.
- Contusions (or coup or contrecoup injuries), which are bruises to the brain caused by a forceful impact to the head.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAIs), which involved the nerve cells shearing or stretching quickly when the brain moves back and forth inside the skull. This can result in tearing or damaging the nerve axons, which connect the nerve cells within your brain.
- Hematomas, which are clots that form when a blood vessel ruptures. While they can be small, if left untreated, they can grow in size and put pressure on your brain. Hematomas can form between your skull and the lining of your brain (epidural hematoma) or between the brain and the lining of your brain (subdural hematoma).
- Second impact syndrome, which can occur after you have suffered repeated head or brain injuries concurrently.
- Hemorrhages, which involve bleeding in or around your brain and/or brain tissue that can be caused by small arterial tears sustained during your accident.
How Are TBIs Diagnosed?
After an accident, you should immediately seek medical care. Even if you feel fine or are seemingly uninjured, it is best to get checked out. A doctor can warn you about the symptoms that may develop in the coming days that are evidence you have a TBI.
In trying to diagnose you, your doctor or healthcare provider will likely ask you the following questions.
- What are your current symptoms and known injuries?
- Did you lose consciousness at any point?
- Did you hit your head or suffer from a blow to the head (that you know of)?
They may also ask you to submit to a neurological exam or complete some imaging tests (i.e. MRI or CT scan). A neurological exam typically involves testing:
- Cranial nerves
- Mental status
- Coordination and balance
- Autonomic nervous system (i.e. breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.)
Symptoms of TBIs
The symptoms you experience are dependent upon the severity and type of injury you sustain. Mild TBI symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Issues with concentration or thinking
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Memory loss
- Tinnitus (which is a ringing or buzzing in your ear)
If you have a moderate or severe TBI, you may experience the aforementioned symptoms as well as:
- Abnormal pupil dilation
- Extreme restlessness or agitation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Numbness in your arms or legs
- Slurred speech
Retain Our Personal Injury Attorneys
After suffering a traumatic brain injury, your life may never be the same. While someone with a concussion or mild TBI may only be affected for a few weeks, someone with a more severe TBI may have to endure life-long effects from the injury. Children who suffer from TBIs often have developmental issues that require extra support and care as well. You (and/or your family) shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden that your injury can cause if you were injured due to someone else’s reckless actions.
At Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are advocates for our clients and their rights; if you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we are equipped to help you investigate the accident, establish liability, and fight for fair compensation. We are known for providing clients with high-quality legal services, individualized attention and case strategies, and the support they need during this challenging time.
Let us advocate for you. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling (214) 739-0100 or complete this contact form.