It is estimated that approximately 1.4 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) each year in the United States. These injuries cause life-altering conditions for victims and their families. Traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of various types of accidents from vehicle accidents to slip and fall accidents. The severity of a TBI can range from a mild concussion to paralysis or even death.
Traumatic brain injuries are typically divided into two categories: closed brain injuries and open brain injuries.
Closed Brain Injury
A closed brain injury occurs from a blow to the head. In an automobile accident, for example, when a victim’s head slams into the dashboard or door panel, or when a slip and fall victim’s head strikes a solid object or hard surface, a traumatic brain injury can occur. The blow can result in multiple areas of damage to the brain as it is violently shaken in the skull, or the damage can be limited to the area of the impact.
Open Brain Injury
Open brain injuries, also known as penetrating brain injuries, result when a foreign object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Damage occurs to the skull and brain along the path of the object. Objects penetrating the skull can cause severe, permanent damage to brain tissue, brain cells and blood vessels. Symptoms from an open brain injury vary according to the area of the brain affected by the injury.
Diagnosing and Measuring a Traumatic Brain Injury
Diagnosing traumatic brain injury can be difficult in closed head injuries because there may be no obvious signs of trauma. When an accident occurs, medical professionals typically concentrate on injuries that are obvious or life threatening and a closed brain injury may not immediately present symptoms. A thorough neurological examination should be performed as soon as possible for victims of accidents that involved a blow to the head.
Many physicians use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the severity of the brain injury. The 15-point scale measures the patient’s ability to move his or her eyes and limbs, follow directions and speak coherently. A higher score indicates a mild brain injury. Brain imagining tests such as CT scans and MRIs can help identify fractures, bleeding, blood clots, bruised brain tissue and brain swelling.
Traumatic brain injuries are measured by the symptoms and level of damage, and are classified as mild or severe. It is important to determine the severity of the damage so that a treatment plan that increases the chances for maximum recovery can be put into place .
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild TBIs usually result in loss of consciousness or confusion that lasts less than 30 minutes, although there can be a mild TBI with no loss of consciousness. Mild brain injuries are the most common type of TBI and they are often missed because symptoms may not present themselves immediately and/or the victim does not adequately convey the symptoms to the treating physician. Symptoms may not present themselves for several weeks following an accident, but once they do they can persist and cause severe problems for the victim and his or her family.
Common symptoms of a mild TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness lasting less than 30 minutes
- Memory loss
- Sleep problems
- Depression or mood changes
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Severe traumatic brain injury can result in death or extended periods of unconsciousness (coma). Severe brain injuries cause long-term or permanent conditions requiring long-term or permanent medical care. This type of injury will have the most extreme affect on the victim and his or her family, and will accrue extremely high monetary damages. Symptoms of severe traumatic brain injury are similar to those associated with mild brain injuries except the symptoms are more severe and last much longer.
Severe TBIs result in permanent conditions that affect cognitive function, motor skills, sensation and emotions including, but not limited to:
- Attention and memory problems
- Extreme weakness
- Impaired balance and coordination
- Problems with vision, hearing, speech and touch
- Depression, aggression and anxiety
- Impulse control
- Personality changes
Because the damages for a traumatic brain injury are extensive (i.e. medical expenses, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.), it is important the accident victim and/or the victim’s family contact an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident. He will not only protect your legal rights, he will make sure you are seen by top medical experts including, but not limited to, a neurologist, neuropsychologist and neuropsychiatrist.
Call an Experienced Long Beach Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney for More Information
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My law practice exclusively represents personal injury victims. It does so with a deep understanding of their suffering and an absolute commitment to their recovery. I take your injuries personally, and that is why I directly handle all aspects of every case to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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