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Suffering from a brain injury can have a traumatic impact on your life and wellbeing. Brain injury survivors often bear physical and mental damage while having to manage medical, financial, and legal challenges. At Tor Hoerman Law, we understand that dealing with a brain injury is incredibly difficult. Our team of brain injury lawyers will work with you to help navigate the legal system and receive proper compensation in your brain injury lawsuit. Hiring a brain injury lawyer can significantly increase your chances of winning a brain injury lawsuit.
Traumatic brain injuries often result from severe blows or jolts to a person’s head or body. Traumatic brain injuries can also come from an object penetrating the brain’s tissue. There are many different specific causes of brain injury. These include slips and falls, vehicle-related accidents, assaults & violent crimes, explosive blasts, and other collisions. The severity of the damage depends on many factors including the force of impact and the nature of the injury.
Brain injuries in sports and sports-related head injuries are also a growing concern as more light is shed on the dangers of sports, especially contact sports and youth sports.
Brain injuries are often classified as primary injury and secondary injury. Primary brain injuries occur at the moment of impact and can affect the entire brain or its specific lobes. The secondary injury refers to the brain undergoing a delayed trauma where it swells against the skull, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood. There are five major types of traumatic brain injuries:
Concussions result from sudden movements that cause the brain and head to dramatically move back and forth. This can lead to the brain bouncing around in the skull creating chemical changes and brain cell damage. Concussions are often described as a “mild” brain injury because they usually are not life-threatening, but the effects can be serious.
Contusions are bruises on specific areas of the brain resulting from an impact on the head. Contusions are classified as coup or contrecoup injuries. Coup contusions refer to when the brain is injured directly at the area of impact. In contrecoup injuries, the bruise occurs on the opposite side of impact.
Diffuse axonal injuries refer to the stretching and tearing of the brain’s nerve cells at the cellular level. Axons, which connect individual nerve cells throughout the brain, become damaged when the brain quickly moves back and forth inside the skull. Diffuse axonal injury disrupts the brain’s ability to transmit information and can induce irregular bouts of sleepiness.
Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhaging is a condition where bleeding occurs in the space surrounding the brain. The bleeding occurs when the injury causes the brain’s small arteries to break. The brain is normally cushioned and protected by cerebrospinal fluid, and blood entering this space can lead to severe headaches, blurry vision, permanent brain damage, and even death.
A hematoma is a blood clot that forms when one of the brain’s blood vessels ruptures. Blood then escapes the bloodstream and thickens and clots. This clotting can affect the brain’s dura, the dura lining, and deep within the brain tissue itself. These clots can press against the brain causing confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
Traumatic brain injuries require immediate medical assessment and attention. Doctors work to gain as much information as possible about the person’s symptoms and injuries. Using the following technologies, testing, and questioning, they are able to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a 15-point test used to assess the severity of a brain injury. The test assesses the injured person’s ability to follow directions, move his or her eyes and limbs, and speak coherently. The scale rates injuries from three to 15; a higher score indicates a less traumatic injury.
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan — CT scans utilize a series of x-rays to provide a detailed look at the brain. CT scans provide visualization of suspected brain trauma such as hemorrhaging, clotting, bruising, and swelling.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) — An MRI creates a detailed picture of the brain with strong radio waves and magnets. MRI testing is usually used once the person’s condition improves.
With an intracranial pressure monitor, doctors insert a probe through the skull to monitor the pressure in the brain. This helps regulate changes in pressure from tissue swelling that can cause additional brain damage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year approximately 1.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury in the United States. Nearly 50,000 people die from these injuries with an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 people experiencing long-term disability. The CDC estimates that there are 5.3 million Americans living with permanent TBI-related disabilities.
Brain injuries can happen to anyone, but certain demographics are at higher risk. These groups include:
Brain injuries can have severe long-term effects on a person’s life. These complications can occur immediately or develop long after the injury. More severe injuries increase a person’s risk of developing additional complications and post-concussive symptoms.
Traumatic brain injuries can lead to permanent or prolonged changes to the injured person’s consciousness. Those suffering from a brain injury can be left in a coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, or in irreversible brain death.
Physical complications resulting from brain injuries include seizures, infections, blood damage, the buildup of fluid in the brain, severe headaches, and vertigo. Brain injuries can also create nerve damage that leads to facial muscle paralysis, loss of the senses, continuous ringing in the ears, hearing damage, and excessive dizziness.
Significant brain injuries can impact a person’s cognitive and executive functioning skills. This includes things like his or her memory, concentration, and judgment. They can also lead to complications with problem-solving, organization, decision-making, and planning.
Those suffering from severe brain injuries often find it hard to communicate and socialize. This could mean difficulty in speaking, writing, and organizing thoughts as well as issues in taking cues, understanding nonverbal signals, and following conversations.
The effects of severe injury can create emotional changes and behavioral problems. People might undergo increased mood swings, irritability, anxiety, anger, and insomnia. These changes can also come out as risky behavior, irrational outbursts, lack of awareness, and issues with self-control.
If you or a loved one suffers a brain injury, seek medical treatment right away. Traumatic brain injuries are almost always an emergency, and the consequences can rapidly intensify if not treated immediately. Find an emergency room or medical facility to have a professional assess the damage and prepare for the next steps in care. Seeking medical attention will also help you mitigate your injuries and strengthen your claim.
After mitigating your injuries, gather all evidence as soon as possible and document your injuries. This will help your brain injury lawyer strengthen your claims. Evidence can include and is not limited to, medical records, photos, videos, personal written accounts, medical bills, witness statements, and other records. Familiarize yourself with steps in the civil litigation process so you know what to expect in a brain injury lawsuit.
Following collecting evidence, it’s important to seek out and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you handle your brain injury lawsuit. Your brain injury lawyer can work with you to help ensure you are compensated for any damage physically, mentally, and emotionally. TorHoerman Law will provide a brain injury lawyer to help you navigate the legal system.
Handling a brain injury lawsuit can be time-consuming, emotionally taxing, and expensive. At TorHoerman Law, we have a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready to work with you to pursue restitution for your suffering. We are happy to discuss your potential brain injury lawsuit for free and with no obligation. Contact us today to learn more about how a brain injury lawyer can help you.
Mayfield Brain & Spine. “Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI Mayfield Brain & Spine Cincinnati, Ohio.” Mayfieldclinic.com, mayfieldclinic.com/pe-tbi.htm.
“Report to Congress on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Steps to Prevent a Serious Public Health Problem.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 2003, www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/mtbireport-a.pdf.
“Traumatic Brain Injury.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 29 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557.
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