A brain injury is different from most other injuries. Cuts and bruises may be uncomfortable; broken bones may limit your mobility. However, a brain injury can affect your mental capacity and nearly every single aspect of your daily life.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force to the head causes damage to brain tissue and brain function. In Virginia
, TBIs account for approximately one-third of all injury-related fatalities, a rate similar to those seen nationwide
. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, 153 people in the United States die from TBI related injuries each day.
Children, teenagers, and elderly people are most at risk for TBI (children and teens because they’re active, elderly because of risk of falls), but the fact is that TBIs can happen to a person at any age, particularly when they get into motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall on someone else’s property, or get injured at work.
If you’ve sustained a TBI or have a loved one struggling with one, contact the experienced Tappahannock
traumatic brain injury lawyers at Emroch and Kilduff learn about your legal rights. Call us today at (804) 358-1568.
How TBIs Happen
Most TBIs result from a blow to the head. TBIs also happen from oxygen deprivation, stroke, explosions, and penetrating injuries (such as bullet wounds). The common factor in all of these incidents is an injury to brain tissue, which results from bleeding, swelling, or physical injury to the brain tissue.
According to the CDC,
some common events that result in victims with TBI include:
Whatever the cause of a blow or violence to the head, the result can be any of a number of dangerous medical conditions that can lead to brain injury. Those include:
- Subdural hematoma - A blood clot under the skull that can damage brain tissue.
- Hemorrhage - Uncontrolled bleeding that damages brain tissue.
- Concussion - Damage to the brain from moving around within the skull, usually including bruising, swelling, or bleeding.
- Edema - Swelling of the brain that creates damaging pressure on brain tissue within the skull.
- Skull fracture - A break in the skull itself, which can lead to bleeding, swelling, and physical damage to brain tissue.
- Diffuse axonal injury - Lesions in the brain that affect brain function and can be fatal.
This is not a complete list of injuries that can cause TBI, of course, but they are among the most common we see in our law practice.
How TBIs Affect Victims
TBIs have varying effects. Some people recover from them. Others don’t.
The lucky ones experience symptoms common of concussions: headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, but those symptoms fade and ultimately disappear. The less fortunate have to deal with these symptoms on an ongoing basis for an extended period of time. And then there are people whose lives get changed altogether by a TBI. They may experience memory loss, cognitive and motor impairments, long-term loss of consciousness, and even death.
Spotting a TBI can be tricky. The people most at risk of a TBI - young people and older people - also happen to be those most likely to struggle to describe their symptoms to others, or even to realize that they’re experiencing symptoms of a TBI. To make matters more difficult, oftentimes the telltale signs of TBI take a while to emerge, which can conceal the cause-and-effect between a blow to the head and the resultant brain trauma.
If you know someone who has recently taken an impact to the head, whether while playing sports, from falling down, or in any of the kinds of accidents listed above, keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms: they may be warning signs that the person has suffered a TBI and needs immediate
- Problems with dizziness or balance
- Mood swings
- Frequent headaches
- Neck pain
- Vision problems, hearing problems, or sensitivity to light
- Difficulty thinking, speaking, or concentrating
- Lack of energy
- Disturbed sleep patterns
How Healthcare Professionals Treat TBIs
A range of medical interventions come into play when treating a TBI. In the immediate aftermath of a blow or other injury to the head, doctors may use medicine and surgery to limit the short and long-term damage to brain tissue. After a patient is stable, doctors usually prescribe rest and limitation of activities usually. Depending on a patient’s symptoms and prognosis, doctors may also order a range of therapeutic interventions, from occupational and physical therapy to mental health counseling.
What to Do If You Have Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury
Obviously, the most important thing to do if you’ve taken a blow to the head and suspect a TBI is to see a doctor right away, and to continue with necessary treatment. Not only does that protect your health, it also creates a record of your injury that a lawyer might need to prove someone else’s liability for damages.
If someone else’s careless or reckless actions may have caused the event that led to your TBI, it’s also important to consult with an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible. Under Virginia law
, most people injured by someone else’s negligent actions must take legal action within two years of the injury. The sooner a lawyer starts working on your behalf, the better your chance of recovering damages to help support you in your TBI recovery. These may include money for:
- Medical costs
- Medication costs
- Loss of income
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional damage
How to Find a Tappahannock Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, call Emroch & Kilduff at (804) 358-1568, or contact us
online to schedule a free case consultation. Our team of legal professionals has the resources and know-how to help victims of TBI recover the compensation they deserve.