Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when there is severe trauma to the head. It can happen in a variety of situations, including car accidents, sports, and even a trip and fall. The causes are quite diverse, but the three most common are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and firearms.
Traumatic brain injuries come in many forms, and not all are life-threatening. Depending on how they occur, a person may recover completely from their TBI, while another may suffer permanent deficits. Knowing the most common ways these do happen might help prevent them.
What Are the Most Common Causes of TBIs?
TBIs can be open or closed head wounds. While most people associate a TBI with a concussion, these injuries occur in more ways than a blow to the head – and some don’t even include a concussion as part of the injury.
The most common causes of TBIs are motor vehicle accidents, gunshots to the head, and falls, which we will go into further.
Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are traumatic on the entire body, but especially the head. A person in a catastrophic accident may suffer a TBI, especially if their head is physically struck by an object in the vehicle.
Also, the whipping motion alone in a car accident can lead to a TBI. As the entire body whips violently back and forth, the brain may move rapidly from side to side, hitting the skull and causing severe injuries. Sometimes, these accidents can result in bleeding of the brain.
Firearms and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Firearms are one of the most common reasons for TBIs, and these include being struck with the back of a firearm and being shot in the head. A gunshot wound to the head is a penetrating trauma and often can be fatal. Even if a person does survive these types of injuries, they are more likely to be left with permanent deficits than someone who suffers a TBI in a motor vehicle accident.
Falls and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Falls, whether from a height or a slip and fall, can lead to a TBI. A person could slip on an icy sidewalk and strike their head on the concrete, while another may fall from a ladder while at work. Small children can fall from playground equipment or down a flight of stairs and suffer an injury.
Falls create closed head trauma, and even if the brain is not penetrated, these injuries can lead to permanent side-effects, depending on their severity.
Closed Head versus Open Head Injuries
Open head and closed head injuries are the primary mechanism for creating a TBI. Understanding the differences for these injuries is critical. Open head injuries often result in permanent brain injuries and are more likely to be fatal than a closed head injury. However, a serious closed head injury can still be fatal; therefore, they should never be ignored.
- Open Head Injury – Open head TBI injuries occur when something penetrates the skull and enters the brain tissue, such as a gunshot wound, sharp object, etc. These create focal damage, meaning the tissues at the point of impact are affected.
- Closed Head Injury – A close head injury can occur when an impact occurs, but with no penetration. These include sports-related injuries, car accidents, trip and fall injuries, and physical violence against a person. The damage for a closed head injury can include more of the brain and be much broader than an open head injury.
Know the Symptoms of a TBI
While these are the most common causes of TBIs, head injuries can happen anywhere. It is important to know what symptoms a person will exhibit if they have suffered a traumatic brain injury. If you or a loved one suffers a TBI, you should seek medical attention right away.
Common symptoms include:
- Headache or persistent migraine
- Issues with balance coordination
- Blurred vision in both eyes (sometimes only one)
- Vision issues outside of blurriness, such as seeing stars or spots
- Difficulty talking
- Issues with swallowing
- Inability to form sentences or choose words
- Memory problems
- Inability to communicate
- Personality changes
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia
- Inability to reason, focus, or think logically
When a TBI Happens Due to Someone’s Negligence
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. TBIs, even if you can recover from them, cost thousands in medical costs alone. Not only will a person likely need emergency room care, but they may also require specialists, surgeries, and have lost wages due to the inability to work.
Most TBIs serious enough to require a neurosurgeon will leave a person permanently disabled. That means they may be unable to work, interact with family and loved ones, and other family members may have to stop working to care for them. The financial losses from these types of injuries can be insurmountable.
When someone’s negligence causes those injuries, you have the right to hold them accountable for the trauma, financial losses, and the emotional impact it has on you and your loved ones.
You will need to work with an injury attorney who has experience handling TBI cases. With an attorney’s help, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical Costs: The initial costs, as well as any long-term medical treatment required, should not be the burden you and your family should carry. Instead, you can seek compensation for those losses, including anything that was paid by insurance to free your benefits back up.
- Lost Wages: Whether you lost wages recovering from a TBI or you are permanently disabled and cannot work, you deserve compensation for the wages, benefits, and even promotion opportunities missed.
- Pain and Suffering: A serious injury is not just physically painful, it also creates emotional and mental trauma. You can seek compensation for how the injury has affected your quality of life.
To explore your legal options, speak with attorney Seth Gladstein at the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. He has helped countless families just like yours get the compensation they deserve after suffering from a TBI. Call us today or request more information online.