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The Dangers of a Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can experience due to its potential for serious, long-term consequences. Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe, and each classification has unique symptoms and recovery prognoses.

Learn about mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries and the impact these types of injuries may have on a person’s health and independence.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to any damage caused to the brain by external forces, such as a blow or jolt to the head, or violent movement to the head which can cause the brain to forcefully contact that inside of the skull. Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe.

Many victims of a traumatic brain injury do not notice significant symptoms of the traumatic brain injury until days, weeks, or even months after the injury occurred. This is because the brain is a complex system and each person responds to a traumatic brain injury differently. Additionally, since there are often no external symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, the diagnosis for such an injury may be missed or delayed because the victim may not know that something is wrong, or healthcare providers are focused on other injuries that a person may have suffered after a trauma.

Once symptoms do present themselves, victims often experience the following:

  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentration, speaking, or multitasking
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Change in personality
  • Dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting
  • Severe headaches
  • Ringing in the ears

If you or someone you love was in an accident and now experiences these symptoms, schedule a doctor's appointment as soon as possible.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries have many causes, but typically occur when there is a force exerted on the brain. It can be from blunt force trauma to the head, or trauma to the body, that causes a violent movement of the head. Some of the most common situations in which a person acquires a traumatic brain injury include car accidents, sports accidents, assaults, slip and fall accidents, and more.

Some examples of traumatic brain injuries are:

  • Concussion: Concussions can be caused by an impact to the head or sudden and violent movement. A concussion can cause damage to the cranial nerves, and can take months or years to heal.
  • Contusion: A contusion involves bruising and bleeding in the brain, which is one of the primary causes of serious and long-term damage.
  • Coup-Contrecoup Contusion: If the blow to the head is severe, the brain can impact against the opposite side of the skull, causing severe bruising to the organ.
  • Penetration: A penetration brain injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain.
  • Diffuse Axonal: This happens when violent or rapid movement causes the skull to move faster than the brain, which may lead to nerves and brain tissue tearing. Whiplash often causes this type of traumatic brain injury.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A victim may have a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury. It is important to keep in mind that the level of injury you receive does not necessarily indicate what your recovery process will be like. Some severe traumatic brain injury victims eventually recover from their injury, while some mild traumatic brain injury victims experience symptoms throughout the remainder of their lives.

Traumatic brain injuries can be classified into the following three categories:

  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: This type of injury can occur with no loss of consciousness or very brief loss of consciousness, (or an altered state of consciousness) and often leaves the victim immediately feeling dazed or confused, after the event. Even though the medical literature refers to this a “mild” traumatic brain injury, it can have lifetime impacts.
  • Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury: This type of injury causes a loss of consciousness for several minutes or several hours, and confusion which may last for weeks or months, immediately after the trauma. It too can cause a lifetime of symptoms.
  • Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: This type of injury causes a loss of consciousness that lasts for days, weeks, or months, and can result in a coma or vegetative state. Victims of a severe traumatic brain injury often can no longer live independently or earn an income.

What is the Prognosis for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury has the potential to change the course of a victim’s life. While many victims of mild traumatic brain injuries see their symptoms resolve in days to weeks, many victims of traumatic brain injuries require long-term, live-in care and intensive rehabilitative care. This can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

This is why it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight to recover the compensation you deserve following an accident that led to your traumatic brain injury. You have already paid for another’s negligence with your health; you should not have to pay with your life savings as well.

Our Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel are here to help protect your rights in the wake of a traumatic accident and injury. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of traumatic brain injury victims who have had their life turned upside-down due to the negligent actions of another.

Two of our partners are founders of the Brain Injury Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC, and the current President and Vice President. With our extensive brain injury experience, you can be sure that this is an area of law for which we are truly passionate.

We encourage you to contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today at (202) 644-8303 to learn how we can assist you.