Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a leading cause of disability and death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Statistics from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) reveal an estimated 1.7 million new TBI cases are diagnosed each year, with more than 235,000 of those cases serious enough to require hospitalization.
Sadly, there's no quick fix or cure for a TBI injury. These devastating injuries can cause a wide range of temporary, long-term, or even permanent impairments that can affect a victim's ability to care for themselves, hold a job, or maintain relationships. Approximately 5.3 million people in the United States live with a TBI-related disability. Often, these injuries are sustained in horrific personal injury accidents. Read on to learn more about common TBI causes, and how to seek help, and compensation for brain injuries suffered in an incident caused by another person or entity's negligence.
How TBIs Occur
Conditions created in a personal injury accident are often ideal for leading to traumatic head and brain injuries. TBIs occur when the head or the body sustains jolt or blow powerful enough to disrupt the brain's normal functions.
Types of TBIs
Not all TBIs have the same causes—or effects. As a result, TBIs are often grouped by injury, or the mechanism of injury. Common types of TBIs include:
- Open TBI. Designating a TBI as “open” means that the injury was caused by a foreign object penetrating the skull.
- Closed TBI. Injuries classified as “closed” TBIs are those caused by a blow or jolt, rather than a penetrating object.
- Deceleration diffuse axonal injuries. The right kind of blow or jolt can cause the brain to move around inside the skull. Often, these types of injuries are characterized by brain bleeds at the point of impact, as well as on the other side of the brain where it collided with the inside of the skull.
Common TBI Causes
According to the AANS, between 50 and 70 percent of TBIs are the result of a motor vehicle accident such as a car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian crash. Falls—whether from a height or at ground level—are another leading cause of TBIs in the United States. Other common causes include sports and recreational activities, explosive blasts, and violence.
Impairments Related to TBIs
Living with a TBI often isn't easy, for either the victims or their families. The negative impairments associated with traumatic brain injuries can affect nearly every aspect of a victim's life. Here are examples of common types of impairments and their potential effects:
- Physical. Impairments may include changes in consciousness, headaches, seizures, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, reduced muscle strength, and movement, balance, coordination, and motor programming deficits.
- Sensory. These deficits may include sensitivity to light, changes in vision, auditory dysfunction, hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and loss of balance.
- Neuro-behavioral. Changes such as agitation, combativeness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, feelings of disorientation, hyper-vigilance, impulsivity, irritability, and reduced tolerance for frustration are common.
- Cognitive-communication. TBIs can also cause difficulty with cognitive processes and systems, and verbal and non-verbal communication that can result in attention deficits, executive function impairments, information processing issues, memory and learning deficits, impaired meta and spacial cognition, and orientation or positioning deficits.
Consult an Experienced California Personal Injury Attorney
A TBI is one of the most challenging types of injury an accident victim can sustain. Due to the devastating array of potential impairments, TBIs can have serious consequences for a victim's finances, career, personal relationships, and independence. However, if the TBI was sustained in a car accident, truck crash, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident that wasn't the victim's fault, they may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights, explore your options for compensation, and navigate the complex personal injury litigation process.
If you have questions or concerns about a personal injury-related TBI case, contact the skilled attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group at (888) 694-3529 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with a member of our legal team. Please note that our office focuses on injury claims in Southern California but can also answer questions for any other claims in the State of California.