Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can result from a number of occurrences where the human brain becomes damaged, temporarily or permanently, by making sudden contact with the skull, a penetrating object or a lack of oxygen. Non penetrating TBI’s are the most common form of brain injury.
The leading causes of non-penetrating brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Injury Prevention Center, are:
- Falls – 40.5%
- Motor Vehicle Related – 14.3%
- Struck By or Against – 15.5%
- Assault – 10.7%
- Other or Unknown – 19%
Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, requiring little or no medical attention, with rest being the only treatment required. They may also be severe, causing lifelong debilitation, coma and death. The type of injury, as well as its severity, determines the prognosis. Medical personnel typically use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the severity of neurological damage. However, there is no correlation between the score and the length and extent of recovery.
Types of Non-Penetrating Brain Injury
Non-penetrating brain injuries can occur from auto accidents, sports, falls from heights, trip or slip and fall accidents, construction accidents and many other less common scenarios. Many traumatic brain injuries have no external symptoms and are often neglected. In the past it was common for an athlete to return to a game after receiving a concussion, risking the possibility of a fatal second impact. The same was true with prize fighters who took an eight count and returned to fight. Today greater precautions, as well as preventative measures are employed with regard to sports.
The most common form of non- penetrating traumatic brain injuries are as follows:
- Concussion – A concussion can be caused by sudden impact to the head, rapid acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull, or a shaking of the brain. The level of severity can vary greatly with symptoms taking a few days to a few months or years to heal. A concussion may lead to temporary unconsciousness or a dazed or “punch drunk” appearance. Nausea and vomiting may also accompany, or follow, a concussion. A person with even a mild concussion should avoid risking a second injury which could prove fatal.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury – Brain structures are torn by a rotation of the brain within the skull. Auto and motorcycle accidents are frequent, often fatal, causes of diffuse axonal injury as is shaken baby syndrome. Damage from this type of injury is widespread and can be permanent or temporary. Surgery is not an option.
- Contusion – A contusion is a bleeding in the brain often caused by direct impact. Immediate surgery may be required to stop the bleeding and remove the contusion.
- Coup – Countrecoup – This type of injury incudes a contusion on the side of the brain where impact occurred and an additional contusion directly opposite. It is caused by a great force that is strong enough to cause the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull.
- Second Injury Syndrome – Second injury syndrome occurs when a TBI, like a concussion, receives a second injury before the original injury has healed. These injuries can be fatal. They are seen in contact sports where an athlete is put back on the field after having his “bell rung.”
The True Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Many traumatic brain injuries are preventable by employing proper safety measures while playing sports, working on construction sites or maintaining walkways. If you received a TBI and feel that there was negligence involved it is imperative that you seek a professional brain injury attorney. The cost of a traumatic brain injury over a lifetime can total in the millions of dollars in loss of occupation, medical bills and rehabilitation. You may have to be retrained to perform a new job that pays a fraction of what your original job paid — if you are able to work at all. Even if your injury was temporary, you still endured pain and suffering, incurred expenses and lost wages. A skilled brain injury attorney knows the true cost emotionally and financially and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Dolman Law Group has helped countless victims of traumatic brain injuries recover the money that they deserve. Do not accept what an insurance company is offering, no matter how good it looks right now. Let Dolman Law recover what your injury is really worth. Call today for a free consultation.