Traumatic Brain Injuries are responsible for the long-term disability of over 80,000 Americans.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when sudden trauma to the brain causes damage ranging from a mild concussion to severe injury, coma, and/or death. In some cases, a Traumatic Brain Injury can also be caused by medical malpractice due to a doctor's or medical institution's negligence to diagnose or properly treat an injury. For instance, a doctor may provide an overdose of radiation to treat an underlying condition. Approximately 1.5 million brain injuries occur each year and are a major cause of death or disability in children and adults. An estimated 80,000 to 90,000 people with a traumatic brain injury experience permanent disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that approximately 5.3 million Americans living with long-term or permanent brain injuries need assistance to perform tasks of daily living. Brain injury can have a severe impact on family, work and social interaction. If you or a loved one believes that you may have a case involving a Traumatic Brain Injury and need to speak with a brain injury attorney, contact our office immediately (404) 761-1212 or (770) 964-2847.
Brain Injury Facts
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) affect nearly 1.5 million Americans every year, resulting in 50,000 deaths.
- Car accidents and slip and fall accidents account for about half of TBI cases each year.
- Damages from auto crashes total $60 billion annually.
- The primary cause of hospitalizations for TBIs are related to motor vehicle traffic; this rate is the highest among teen drivers.
Causes of Brain Injuries
Almost half of patients suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury may need surgery to repair the damaged section of the brain.
TBIs can be caused by injuring your head during a fall, car accident, plane crash, sports-related collision or motorcycle accident, among others. Brain injuries can also result from firearms or medical malpractice. Automobile accidents are the cause of half of traumatic brain injuries, while slip and fall accidents are the top cause of TBIs in people over 65. In children, physical abuse is the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Types of Brain Injury
Commonly referred to as "head injuries", the following is a list of several types of traumatic brain injuries specific to the location of the trauma:
- Concussions occur after a blow to the head. This type of brain injury pushes the brain violently against the skull, which may cause bleeding or nerve damage.
- Contusions cause bruising on the brain after the head impact.
- Diffuse axonal injury occurs when the brain moves around the skull, mostly caused by car accidents, falls and child abuse. Approximately 90% of those with severe diffuse axonal injury remain unconscious, while the remaining 10% live severely impaired lives.
- Coup-Contrecoup injury causes brain damage both to the side of the head where the brain injury occured and the opposite side of the brain.
Brain Injury Symptoms
Approximately 10% of all brain injuries are classified as severe. Effects of a traumatic brain injury include problems with the senses, as well as cognitive impairment of perception and speech. Victims of traumatic brain injuries may also suffer from physical and socio-emotional changes, including physical paralysis, sleep disorders, lack of control over the bowels and bladder, changes in appetite, depression, aggression and dependent behaviors. Symptoms of a mild brain injury may include the following:
- Unconsciousness or confusion, lasting less than 30 minutes
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty concentrating
These symptoms may be present directly after the traumatic incident, but also may not appear for several weeks. As a result, many mild brain injuries go undetected. An estimated 15% of brain injury victims have mild symptoms that last for a year or more. These minor injuries can disrupt simple, everyday activities.
Symptoms of a more serious brain injury may include the following:
- Loss of coordination
- Abnormal speech
- Memory loss
- Emotional irritability
- Unconsciousness, lasting more than 30 minutes
The effects of a brain injury can last for months, years, or even a lifetime. Many victims of traumatic brain injuries will require rehabilitation in order to regain the most independent level of functioning possible, while some may never return to work or independent living. This can leave the victim's family with extreme emotional and financial burden. If you have fallen victim to a traumatic brain injury, contact our office at (404) 761-1212 or (770) 964-2847 immediately to consult with a brain injury lawyer.