Our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients who suffer from a traumatic brain injury and will hold negligent parties accountable to ensure that you receive top compensation for your or family member's brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are the result of externally inflicted trauma. This can significantly impair a person’s physical, psychosocial, and cognitive functioning. A traumatic brain injury will result in the swelling and bruising of the brain. This is not to be confused with an anoxic brain injury, which happens when a brain is deprived of oxygen. If there is an acute change in the injured person’s mental status, this is the usual sign of a traumatic brain injury.
Millions of Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. The TBI victim can suffer from anything from a mild concussion to a coma, or even death. The leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include auto accidents, birth injuries, slips, falls and sports injuries.
Victims of TBI often do not even know that they have suffered harm. Symptoms often take days or even weeks to show up after an accident occurs. Common signs of TBI include confusion, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. If the traumatic brain injury goes untreated, it can lead to permanent difficulties including memory loss, cognitive delays, and personality changes. Oftentimes victims cannot perform day-to-day living tasks and need assistance.
A traumatic brain injury can be severe and life altering. On top of this, victims must pay expensive medical bills and other expenses. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, get in touch with an aggressive Lowcountry Injury Law attorney. Our attorneys advocate for the rights of traumatic brain injury victims. We will work hard to ensure that you receive compensation for any costs and suffering resulting from your TBI.
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1.Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. An accident caused by another’s negligence can result in TBI when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, such as a windshield, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. Other symptoms of mild TBI include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking. A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
Brain injury treatment is a complex field of medical rehabilitation. When someone has a moderate to severe injury, treatment can involve the combined efforts of neurologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, an array of rehabilitation therapists, case managers, and social workers, along with a person’s network of friends and family. For mild traumatic brain injuries, treatment often involves resting the body and the brain. If symptoms of brain injury persist, further evaluation by a neurologist and/or a neuropsychologist may be helpful.
Physicians look at several indicators to predict the level of a patient's recovery during the first few weeks and months after injury:
- Duration of coma
- Severity of coma in the first few hours after the injury (as measured by the Glasgow Coma Score)
- Duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA)
- Location and size of contusions and hemorrhages in the brain
- Severity of injuries to other body systems sustained at the time of the TBI
Precise predictions are difficult with TBI, but some generalizations can be made:
- The more severe the injury, the longer the recovery period, and the more impairment a survivor will have once recovery has plateaued.
- Recovery from diffuse axonal injury takes longer than recovery from focal contusions.
- Recovery from TBI with hypoxic injury is less complete than without significant hypoxic injury.
- The need for surgery does not necessarily indicate a worse outcome. For example, a patient requiring the removal of a blood clot may recover as completely as one who never needs surgery.
Cognitive and behavioral processes are controlled by specific areas of the brain, so the location of the injury determines the type of impairment. For example, patients who suffer a diffuse axonal injury and/or a diffuse hypoxic injury often have difficulty with concentration and long-term memory. They may have trouble dealing with more than one thing at a time, difficulty keeping track of appointments, and keeping organized. Those who suffer focal contusions or hemorrhages have problems associated with the particular brain areas affected. For example, a hemorrhage deep in the left side of the brain may cause weakness of the right side of the body. A patient with contusions of the frontal lobes may have trouble being organized or may have behavioral problems such as abnormal passivity, impulsiveness, or aggressiveness.
The length of time a patient spends in a coma correlates to both post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) and recovery times:
- Coma lasting seconds to minutes results in PTA that lasts hours to days; recovery plateau occurs over days to weeks.
- Coma that lasts hours to days results in PTA lasting days to weeks; recovery plateau occurs over months.
- Coma lasting weeks results in PTA that lasts months; recovery plateau occurs over months to years.
Physicians trained in the care of brain-injured patients can best determine how these generalizations apply to a particular TBI survivor.
There are several mechanisms of recovery after brain injury. Initial improvement may be due to the reduction of swelling (edema) of brain tissue occurring over days, weeks or months, depending on the severity of the injury. Next, damaged brain cells begin functioning again, usually over a period weeks to months. Finally, undamaged areas of the brain may, to a certain extent, take over the functions of areas that suffer permanent damage.
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