One of the most devastating injuries that anyone can sustain in an automobile accident is a traumatic brain injury. So called TBI injuries can totally alter the way in which accident victims live their lives. Furthermore, traumatic brain injuries are often overlooked immediately after an accident due to the fact that the victim may appear healthy and not develop symptoms until days or week after the wreck. Here is what to know.
Types of Injuries Common in Car and Motorcycle Accidents:
Head Injuries and Post Concussion Syndrome
Car Accidents are one of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) 50,000 people die annually from TBIs, while 230,000 people are hospitalized and survive, and an estimated 80,000-90,000 people experience the onset of long-term disability as a result -- currently, over 5.3 million people are living with disabilities resulting from a TBI. Post Concussive Syndrome is a type of Brain Injury resulting from a Concussion and common in automobile collisions where a driver or passenger in a vehcile or driver of a motorcycle has suffered a blow to the head.
Many TBIs are not initially diagnosed and do not result in hospitalizations.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
A TBI is an injury to the brain that results from an external force, or trauma, to the head. In other words, it's a head injury that causes damage to the brain. The "external force" can be a direct blow to the head such as striking the steering wheel in a car accident.
Even though the skull is not penetrated or fractured, the force can cause the brain to be injured in a number of ways. Or, the "external force" can be a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head that shakes or rotates the brain. Examples of this are whiplash in a car accident or Shaken Baby Syndrome. As the BIA definition states, the "external force" damages the tissues and cells of the brain causing temporary or permanent impairment in the cognitive, emotional and physical abilities of an individual.
Most TBIs are Closed Head Injuries (CHI), where trauma to the head sets the brain in motion inside the skull. Depending upon the degree and direction of the forces applied, the brain can be damaged in many different ways. These include surface contusions of the brain from a coup-contre coup (an initial blow followed by a rebound against the opposite side of the skull) and twisting and stretching from rotational force which damage fine structures like axons.
Obviously, not all TBIs are equally serious. They range from catastrophic to subtle. However, even subtle brain injuries can have significant, permanent, life-altering consequences for the patient. TBIs can be caused by whiplash.
COMMON Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms:
· muscle spasticity
· double vision, blurred vision or low vision, even blindness
· loss of smell or taste
· speech impairments such as slow or slurred speech
· headaches or migraines
· fatigue, increased need for sleep, and
· balance problems.
· short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss
· slowed ability to process information
· trouble concentrating or paying attention for periods of time
· difficulty keeping up with a conversation, and other communication difficulties such as word finding problems
· spatial disorientation
· organizational problems and impaired judgment
· inability to do more than one thing at a time, and
· a lack of initiating activities, or once started, difficulty in completing tasks without reminder.
· depression and mood swings
· impulsive behavior
· more easily agitated, and
· egocentric behaviors, difficulty seeing how behaviors can affect others.
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF YOU THINK YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM A BRAIN INJURY.
The Holder Law Group, LLP understands the severity of brain injuries including Post Concussion Syndrome and the difficulty in proving them at trial or, in the alternative, getting insurance companies to accept them as substantial injuries. Appropriate medical treatment and documentation for these injuries is crucial for your case.
Additional Information Regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries