What Are the Major Causes of A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
Traumatic brain injuries are devastating, long-lasting traumas that occur when the head or body receives a violent blow or is jerked suddenly, causing serious damage to the brain and interrupting the flow of messages to other parts of the body.
The rough and jolting conditions that create a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can occur in a number of situations, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall incidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Workplace accidents
Additionally, there are two types of traumatic head injuries: open and closed. “Open” traumatic injuries are when an object penetrated the skull and entered the brain itself, while “closed” traumatic brain injuries (TBI) indicate the victim experienced a violent, but non-penetrating, blow to the head.
An open TBI can occur when a piece of metal or another sharp object hits a passenger during a car accident with enough force to impale the skull. This can cause the brain to swell as well as other extremely dangerous conditions. Symptoms from an open traumatic brain injury can vary. The symptoms depend on which parts of the brain were injured and how much of the brain was injured.
A closed TBI can have damage that is extensive and can spread to other parts of the brain. Closed TBI's are typically seen in sports injuries, but can also occur during an accident. Damage can happen due to brain tissues hit the inside of the skull during an impact. It can lead to bruising, swelling, bleeding, and other damage.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Symptoms to Look Out For
Traumatic brain injuries can cause a wide variety of devastating physical, sensory, and cognitive or mental symptoms.
Many symptoms may not appear immediately after the accident occurs. This is why it is very important to seek medical help immediately after a head trauma, even if no symptoms are evident yet. Whenever symptoms do appear, be sure to take careful note of what they are.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Physical Symptoms
Each case of TBI is unique and serious, no matter how few or mild the symptoms may seem. Here are the most common TBI symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness, ranging from a few seconds to several hours
- Disorientation or confusion (without a loss of consciousness)
- A persistent headache that grows increasingly worse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual, or the inability to rouse from sleep
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation of the pupils
- Convulsions or seizures
- Numbness or weakness in the fingers and toes
- Clear fluids that drain from the nose or ears
If a victim of a head injury is showing any of these symptoms, it should be assumed they have a TBI and they should be helped to a hospital immediately.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Additional Symptoms
Victims of a traumatic brain injury may also experience sensory-related symptoms, such as sensitivity to light or sound, a ringing in the ears, blurred vision, changes in the ability to smell, and a bad taste in the mouth, as well as cognitive or mental symptoms, including:
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Abrupt mood swings or changes
- Profound confusion
- Unusual behavior, including agitation or combativeness
- Slurred speech
Seeking immediate medical attention to assess a potential TBI after an accident is essential, particularly if you decide to pursue compensation for your brain injury.
If you decide to seek compensation for your injury, here are three steps to take as soon as you are injured:
- Seek medical attention right away
- Take careful note of the injury and symptoms
- Keep copies of all medical records
These details will help a brain injury attorney make sure you receive compensation for your head injury.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are Diagnosed
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) should be treated right away. Medical attention should be sought immediately, even if a TBI is only suspected. Medical professionals diagnose brain injuries by:
- Asking details about symptoms and how the injury occurred
- Giving a neurological exam
- Taking a look at the brain with the help of imaging tests, like MRIs or CT scans
- Conducting neuropsychological tests
Once they know the full extent of the damage done to the brain, they can diagnose how severe the TBI is and advise treatment.
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The recommended treatment for Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) changes depending on the severity of each case. TBIs can be categorized into two broad groups: mild and severe brain injuries.
Treating mild TBIs involves getting plenty of rest and giving the brain time to recover. Mild pain relievers like aspirin can usually be taken to relieve headaches. The best thing to do is to carefully follow the doctor’s instructions—don’t try to resume regular activities too soon.
Caring for severe TBIs requires extensive medical treatment. The first step is to stabilize the patient by managing their blood pressure and ensuring enough blood and oxygen are getting to the brain. Once stable, the patient may require surgery to fix any internal problems. The doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent blood clots and other issues that could worsen the situation.
Living With Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can also cause a range of long-lasting effects that can make it difficult to carry out day-to-day activities—including holding a job—and can seriously curtail a person's ability to live independently. While some of these effects may fade over time, other TBI symptoms may become permanent.
Those who are still experiencing effects from a TBI should contact a brain injury attorney and see if they can seek restitution for their injury. TBIs can create problems for an entire lifetime, and getting the best treatment is often expensive. Brain injury lawyers help ensure the victim receives the compensation they deserve so they can afford the care that they need.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Long-Term Effects
In the case of severe TBIs, there are often long-term effects that remain even after medical treatment. A few common ones are:
- Physical impairments – Many of these impairments require the use of medical mobility aids, such as walkers, motorized scooters, or wheelchairs.
- Cognitive disabilities – These disabilities can impair attention, memory, and executive functioning.
- Communication issues – This includes difficulty speaking, writing, or hearing.
- Emotional trauma – Caused by the injury itself or exacerbated by new and frustrating life circumstances.
- Behavioral impairments – Causing the victim to behave in ways they wouldn't have, prior to the accident.
- Spasticity – The change in muscle movement and tone, as well as reflexes and sensation, may make it difficult to speak, eat, swallow, and eliminate waste.
- Seizures – Caused by electrical disturbances in the brain, seizures can occur immediately following a TBI or develop over time, causing strange body movements – including chewing or fumbling movements – as well as strange sounds, tastes, and images; inability to speak or comprehend speech; and sudden exhaustion or dizziness.
So many victims of traumatic brain injuries require special equipment and care when recovering from their accident. Such equipment and care can be quite expensive and the inability to afford the necessary special needs care is a driving force behind the decision of pursuing compensation for injuries.
Contact a Traumatic Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyer Today
Learning to live with the loss from a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. Steinberg Injury Lawyers' skilled legal team understands this and is dedicated to working diligently to ensure that you receive the financial award you need to have the best care—and the best chance of recovery—possible. Call 800-989-6385 to speak to one of our Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyers, and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.