WHAT TYPE OF ACCIDENTS CAN RESULT IN A BRAIN INJURY?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused in a variety of situations, either accidental or intentional. Most TBIs, though, are the result of sudden violent force and physical trauma, as the skull provides a great deal of protection against TBIs. However, the skull is no match for a high-speed impact caused by a vehicle crash, workplace accident or gunshot.
TBIs are particularly common following vehicle accidents, as a person can be hurt slamming into the dashboard, being ejected from the car, or being whipped around at high speed. If there is a major difference in speed between the vehicles that collide, it can cause a person to thrash back and forth, causing tissues inside the skull to slide around and smash against bone.
Workplace accidents are responsible for a large portion of TBIs, especially in oil and gas, construction and shipping industries. Dropped tools, falls and collisions are all common causes of TBIs, as well as vehicle crashes on worksites.
HOW DOES A BRAIN INJURY NORMALLY PRESENT PHYSICALLY?
TBIs are easy to explain but hard to treat. Normally, they present as a lesion or contusion along a part of the cortex, but they may be so small that they are nearly invisible to medical imaging. If the source of a TBI cannot be pinpointed, there may be a number of micro tears in the tissue that result in small amounts of bleeding. However, even a slight contusion or laceration can result in severe disability.
HOW CAN A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AFFECT A PERSON?
How badly an individual is affected by a TBI depends on its severity. Mild TBIs, like concussions, typically resolve within a few weeks and only rarely result in permanent complications. However, multiple concussions and TBIs increase the risk of long-term complications, which is why so many athletes suffer from profound debilitations, even if they’ve never be inflicted with a moderate or severe TBI.
Moderate TBIs cause permanent complications around 66 percent of the time, and severe TBIs almost always leave long term effects. Most people with moderate TBIs can live independently with some therapy and assistance, and people with severe TBIs either recover enough to live somewhat dependent lives or do not survive the accident.
TBIs are marked by their unpredictable and ranging effects. They can cause speech disorders, mood disturbance, loss of coordination or balance, chronic pain or nausea, seizures, cognitive issues like an inability to learn or focus, and social problems like lack of proper judgment. In general, the complications of a specific TBI are unknown until they manifest during recovery.
WHAT SHOULD A PERSON DO IF THEY HAVE SUFFERED A TBI IN AN ACCIDENT?
Many TBIs are preventable as long as people follow proper safety precautions. Unfortunately, too many people choose to drive recklessly, and companies often lag behind in worker safety. If a victim has sustained a traumatic brain injury, they should consider speaking to an attorney experienced in these matters. With legal assistance, expert testimony and firm settlement negotiations, a victim may attain compensation for their medical expenses and ongoing therapy.