Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is devastating and can have life-long effects on an individual and his or her loved ones. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), TBIs contribute to 30% of all injury deaths. Every day in the United States 153 people die from injuries that include TBI. A TBI can affect anyone at any time. If you’re dealing with a TBI or helping to care for a loved one who is suffering from one, then you know first-hand the physical, psychological, and social effects such an injury can have.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all bumps, blows, or jolts cause a TBI. The severity of a TBI can range from “mild” (which may include a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (which may constitute a sustained loss of consciousness or memory loss). Most TBIs are mild and are commonly known as concussions.
What are the Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?
In addition to the severity of a TBI, the type of TBI can make a difference in a person’s recovery and long-term prognosis. Common types of TBIs include:
- Concussion—this injury is a common result of a blow to the head or rapid deceleration. A concussion typically causes an altered mental state, either temporary or prolonged
- Coup-contrecoup–bruising or damage to the brain tissue caused by the violent slamming of the skull that causes injury either to the impact side or on the opposite side of where the blow was struck
- Diffuse Axonal Injury—similar to a concussion but more serious. Occurs when the brain moves so rapidly that the brain stem can’t keep up causing tears in the connection to the brain
- Hematoma-the rupture of a blood vessel leading to the collection of blood in brain tissue or open spaces
- Penetrating head injury-occurs when an object, such as a sharpinstrument or a bullet, breaks through the skull bone and rips through the brain tissue.
- Skull fracture-fracture of the bones surrounding the brain
What are common causes of a traumatic brain injury?
TBIs can be caused by a number of different situations, but according to the CDC, the most common causes of TBIs are:
- Being struck by or against an object
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Intentional self-harm
Who is at risk for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Every American has a 1:160 chance of sustaining a TBI each year. Men are twice as likely as women to sustain a TBI. Children under 5 years old, teenagers, and the elderly are the three groups who are at the highest risk.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury as the result of someone’s negligence, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.