Research is beginning to paint a clearer picture of how regularly traumatic brain injuryies (TBI) occur. Reports produced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that about 2.8 million Americans suffer from some form of brain injury each year.
Traumatic brain injuries are dangerous and may result in lasting complications. Injuries may run from relatively mild to severe. Sadly, about 56,000 persons died as a result of traumatic brain injuries in 2010.
What Causes TBI?
Brain injury is most often associated with a significant blow to the victim’s head. These injuries often result from car accidents, sports injuries, or even falls. Surprising as it may seem, the CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injury is not limited to blows to the head. An individual may suffer traumatic brain injury without physical contact.
A lack of oxygen, for example, can lead to traumatic brain injury. An oxygen-deprived brain will lose the ability to perform certain sensory, cognitive, and motor functions. If the areas of the brain controlling these functions are deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, an individual may lose consciousness, suffer irreversible brain damage, or die.
Whiplash—which may stem from a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck— can also cause brain injury. Severe whiplash can cause the brain to strike the inside of the cranium, which may result in injury to the brain.
The Signs and Symptoms of TBI
The ability to identify the common signs and symptoms associated with traumatic brain injuries can make a difference by helping TBI victims get quicker—perhaps lifesaving—treatment.
Symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury include:
- Loss of consciousness, even briefly
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Sensory problems such as blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- Unusual behavior
Emotional and personality changes as well as changes in behavior are additional TBI symptoms that require a deeper look. Often, a person suffering from a brain injury will appear and behave like a completely different person than before the accident. The testimony of the loved ones and friends of someone suffering from a brain injury about the changes that person has endured can contitute powerful evidence of a brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury, however, will affect everyone differently. You may experience only one symptom or a combination of several, while others who suffer similar accidents may exhibit significantly different symptoms. Regardless, seek medical attention whenever you have reason to believe that you may have incurred a brain injury.
Lasting Complications from Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury can damage one or several of the brain’s motor and cognitive functions. A particularly severe injury can result in lasting complications. Complications caused by traumatic brain injury include:
- Impaired or lost vision
- Memory loss
- Cognitive disabilities
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- Persistent vegetative death
- Brain death
As a result of the above-listed complications, an injured individual may longer perform everyday tasks, may no longer work, or may require regular medical or in-home assistance.
Contact a Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Today
Virginia law may entitle traumatic brain injury victims to compensation. A victim may file a claim to recover damages from the person or business whose negligence caused the victim’s injuries.
If you or someone you love sustains a TBI that someone else’s negligence caused, retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. The skilled attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff have the experience and knowledge needed to handle your personal injury case. We will zealously advocate on your behalf, striving to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact our office by calling (804) 358-1568 or online to schedule your initial consultation.