Brain injuries are some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries that accident victims suffer in Alabama and throughout the United States. And the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is on the rise – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in a single decade, TBI-related emergency room visits and deaths increased, estimating that approximately 1.7 million people suffer a TBI each year.
Traumatic brain injuries have the potential to be very serious, hence their classification as “catastrophic.” If you or a loved one has suffered a serious TBI injury in Alabama in an accident caused by the fault of another, our brain injury lawyers at the office of Taylor Martino, P.C. remind you that you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Please call us today to learn how we can help.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is different than an acquired brain injury; the former is a result of an external force or trauma to the brain, whereas an acquired brain injury involves a lack of oxygen to the brain, and is the result of stroke, tumor, degenerative diseases, drowning, etc. and not an external force. The types of traumatic brain injuries include:
A concussion is the most familiar TBI type, with many people knowing someone who has experienced a mild concussion in the past. Concussions occur when the brain is impacted with a large amount of force, such as struck with an object. Concussions can also result from violent shaking of the head, gunshot wounds, and from the severe force that is present in a whiplash injury.
Like a concussion, a contusion occurs when the head is directly impacted with force, and is characterized by a section of bleeding on the brain.
Penetration injury. One type of brain injury that can be particularly terrifying for a person to suffer is a penetration injury, in which an object hits the head with enough force that it penetrates the skull and the brain. Gunshot wounds to the head are one type of penetration injury, although this injury type is possible when any sharp object has enough force to penetrate the skull, often bringing hair, skin, and bone fragments into the brain.
Diffuse axonal injury. Shaken Baby Syndrome is one example of a diffuse axonal injury; the head is shaken so violently that the structures within the brain, including nerve tissues, tear. While babies may be particularly susceptible to this injury, older children and adults may suffer a diffuse axonal injury as well if they are subject to a strong rotation of the head or strong shaking force, such as that which may be present in a car accident.
Coup-contrecoup injury. Finally, a coup-contrecoup brain injury is one in which the head is impacted with such force that not only does the brain sustain damage at the site of impact, but also on the direct oppositeside of the brain, as the force is great enough to cause the brain to slam into the opposing side of the skull. This results in contusions on both sides of the brain.
Causes of TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries can occur anytime that the brain is penetrated, shaken, or hit with force. Some of the most common causes of TBIs for adults and children include:
Motor vehicle accidents;
Pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents;
Slip and fall accidents; and
Sports injuries – sports that involve tackling or impact to the head, such as football and soccer, are especially risky.
If you have suffered a TBI, please call us – we can review your case for free regardless of how your injury was sustained.
Measuring the Severity of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body, and no two people who suffer from the same exact type of brain injury (let alone two different brain injury types) will be injured in the exact same manner and have the exact same symptoms or recovery. Indeed, some people who are hit and experience a concussion could have traumatic and lasting effects, whereas others may be able to move forward with their lives in a matter of days.
To measure the severity of TBI, scientists and medical professionals typically use a variety of imaging devices, such as CT and MRI scans, as well as the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale assigns a patient with a TBI a number from three to 15 that is based on eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. The lower the score, the more severe the TBI is, and patients who score below an eight are typically considered to be in a coma/unconscious state, and to have suffered a severe disability. Scores of eight and above are usually indicative of a high chance of recovery. A three is the worse prognosis, and a score of between three and five is likely fatal.
The Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Even for those who score higher on the Glasgow Coma Scale and are not expected to have a long-term permanent disability that prevents them from living a normal life, brain injuries can still have a significant impact on one’s thinking, language, sensation, and emotion. When brain injuries are more severe, a person may be disabled for life, and the TBI may leave them unable to work, care for themselves, or even communicate. We also now know that concussions, even when seemingly insignificant in the present, can increase the risk of degenerative brain diseases, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy for those who have experienced multiple TBIs.
You Deserve to Be Compensated
If you have suffered an injury as catastrophic as a traumatic brain injury, you deserve to be compensated for all your costs and non-economic harm, both present and future. When you call our law offices, we will review your case free of charge, and work on a contingency fee basis to help you recover the damages you need. Please call us today at 1-800-256-7728, fill out the contact form on our website, or visit our Mobile office at your convenience.