Traumatic Brain Injury
One of the most serious and damaging types of injuries are traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”s) occur when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBIs can range from mild concussions to a severe brain injury that causes bruising, swelling, or tearing of brain tissue. The most common and commonly known types of TBI injuries are concussions. Concussions are usually caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, but can also occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Though concussions are generally not life threatening and most occur without loss of consciousness, the effects can be very serious. Victims of concussions can experience problems including but not limited to:
- Difficulty thinking
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty remembering information
- Trouble walking
- Double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
Traumatic brain injuries can occur as a result of highway or roadway accidents involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians. For those over the age of seventy-five (75), a person falling is the cause of the majority of TBIs suffered, and approximately 20% of traumatic brain injuries are due to violent incidents such as firearm assaults and child abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury as an isolated injury, or in connection with another injury, and that approximately two hundred seventy-five thousand (275,000) people are hospitalized as a result of traumatic brain injuries.
Severe traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. In fact, approximately 53,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries each year, and traumatic brain injuries act as a contributing factor to thirty-five and one-half percent (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. These injuries have a large societal and economic toll both on the individual, their family, and their loved ones. Care for the victim requires great effort, expense, dedication, energy and time, as effects of severe TBI victims suffer from short or long term issues affecting their cognitive function, motor function, sensation, and emotions. The ability to think, reason, solve problems, process information and to remember things can all be greatly affected after a TBI. Some victims of TBI’s may even suffer post traumatic amnesia (“PTA”), which may impair the ability to recall events that occurred before the TBI (retrograde PTA), or after the TBI (anterograde PTA). Other impairments people can suffer as a result of a traumatic brain injury include difficulty with communicating and speaking, difficulty with eye-hand coordination, difficulty processing taste, smell, or touch. The estimated economic cost of traumatic brain injuries is fifty-six billion dollars per year, with more than five million Americans who currently are in permanent need of help performing daily activities. The estimated cost of TBI’s in 2010, including both direct and indirect medical costs, was approximately $76.5 billion.
While concussion is the most minor and the most common type of traumatic brain injury, other TBI’s are more severe. A “depressed skull fracture” occurs when pieces of the broken skull press into the brain tissue. A “penetrating skull fracture” is the result of something penetrating the skull and damaging the brain tissue, directly, such as a bullet. A “contusion” is an is an area of swollen brain tissue combined with blood, and a “hematoma” may cause heavy bleeding around the brain due to a broken blood vessel in the head. A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause injury known as “anoxia”, and even a decrease in oxygen to the brain can cause injury, known as “hypoxia”. One particularly dangerous problem with of traumatic brain injuries is that even minor head injuries can have significant long-term consequences down the road. The effects of the injury may not be experienced until well after the actual trauma which caused the harm. In this way, TBIs are often referred to as “invisible injuries”, which victims may not even know they have suffered. The lack of immediate symptoms means that many injured people do not receive proper medical treatment until much later, which may be at a point when irreversible damage has already been done. The harm is often subtle, making it difficult for victims and their families to properly explain the significant effect that it has had on their lives. Victims of a of traumatic brain injury often have altered personalities, memory problems, social issues, sensory deprivation, and other damage that wrecks real havoc on their lives but is not manifest in outward physical damage.
Our California brain injury lawyer at the Brod Law Firm understands the immense challenges faced by traumatic brain injury victims, and their families. The consequences for those involved often last a lifetime. It is not uncommon for victims to require permanent care, indefinitely. Our California legal system provides a remedy for these victims to ensure that those responsible for their harm actually pay for those costs that were caused by their actions. If you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury, please take a moment to contact the Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020. We can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send a message using our online contact form.