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Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs when the head receives a blow, or when an object penetrates the skull, causing brain damage. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, may be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of the brain damage. A car accident, a fall or being struck in the head by an object can cause a traumatic brain injury. Falls and car accidents are leading causes of traumatic brain injuries.

Some closed head injuries and traumatic brain injuries require surgery to repair ruptured blood vessels as well as extensive physical therapy. In many cases, the victim of a traumatic injury accident may be entitled to receive compensation to cover the costs of medical care, therapy and ongoing treatment for the years ahead.

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury in Southern California caused by another’s fault or disregard for safety, turn to Santa Barbara attorney Steven R. Andrade for guidance. Mr. Andrade is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has assisted thousands of clients. The legal team at Andrade Law Offices will work with financial planners to determine the full costs of your brain injury and prepare a claim that reflects those costs.

Let a knowledgeable traumatic brain injury lawyer at Andrade Law Offices assist you and explain your legal options for seeking compensation.

Who is At Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Anyone may sustain a TBI, but people of certain ages are more susceptible to brain injuries.

Those most at risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Children, especially newborns to 4-year-olds who are learning to balance and walk
  • Young adults between 15 and 24, who commonly sustain sports-related injuries and injuries in vehicle accidents
  • Seniors ages 75 and older, who are more susceptible to falling and hitting their heads

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading causes of TBI are:

  • Falls —40.5 percent
  • Struck by or Against Objects—15.5 percent
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents—14.3 percent
  • Assaults, violence—10.7 percent
  • Cause Unknown—19 percent

When Should I Go to the Doctor?

After any collision or a fall in which you hit your head, you should go to the doctor for a thorough examination. Inform the doctor that you have been in a car accident or had a fall.

Your head may show no outward signs of bleeding or injury, yet your brain may be bruised or shaken or injured. You may have a concussion, which is one form of brain injury. It is critically important to have a trained medical professional evaluate your injury immediately.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are divided into two basic categories: closed head injuries and open head injuries.

  • Concussion — A concussion is the most common type of closed head injury. A jolt or blow to the head may cause the brain, which is very fragile, to bounce back and forth inside the skull, causing chemical changes in the brain. The force of a car collision in which a person’s head moves with force backward and then forward, causing whiplash, may also cause a concussion.

Doctors describe a concussion as a mild type of traumatic brain injury because concussions are typically not life-threatening. But any injury to the brain is serious. The symptoms of mild TBI include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to noise<
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems
  • Loss of balance
  • Mood swings
  • Depression

A person with a concussion may lose consciousness briefly or remain conscious but feel dazed. A CAT scan may or may not detect a concussion. It is important after a mild brain injury to get plenty of sleep and avoid doing any activity that could cause another head injury. It may take months for a concussion to heal.

A person who has a concussion may develop post-concussion syndrome, involving symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, irritability, and difficulty thinking and paying attention and memory problems. The Mayo Clinic states that the risk of developing post-concussion syndrome increases as you get older, and women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

A person may have a closed head injury with severe traumatic head injury involving contusions or tears of nerve tissue and swelling of brain tissue.

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome: The injuries that babies who are victims of shaken baby syndrome may sustain include traumatic brain injury. The force generated by shaking the child back and forth injures their developing brain, causing ruptured blood cells and bleeding. The violent rotation of the head can cause the tearing of nerve tissue in the baby, just as in a car accident victim, leading to diffuse axonal injury. The tearing of nerve tissue can cause temporary or long-term brain damage.
  • Coup-Contrecoup Injury: Certain kinds of violent accidents cause the brain to collide against one side of the skull, then slam against the opposite side. This can cause two distinct areas of interior brain bleeding.
  • Penetrating Head Injury: When a foreign object enters the skull, it can cause a penetrating brain injury. Penetrating injuries can harm your cognitive function, cause loss of coordination or weakness in your arms or legs, affect your vision or hearing or cause depression or anxiety. Penetrating injuries may cause death.

The impact of a high-speed car collision is more likely to result in a penetrating or open head injury, in which the skull is cracked and brain tissue is penetrated by bone fragments, if you are not wearing a seat belt. When a vehicle travelling at high speed stops suddenly, an individual’s head is tossed violently, causing the brain to collide with the hard interior of the skull, tearing blood vessels and bruising brain tissue.

Traumatic brain injuries are catastrophic injuries that often require extensive treatment. You may be out of work for an extended period of time or be unable to handle the physical demands of your former job.

Contact a Santa Barbara Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

After a serious injury such as a traumatic brain injury, the personal injury attorney who you select to represent you can make a significant difference in protecting your interests. Santa Barbara attorney Steven R. Andrade has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients throughout Southern California and received membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum in recognition of his exemplary work on behalf of clients.

Contact the legal team at Andrade Law Offices for a free case evaluation. You will not owe any fee for our services until we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.

Sources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Mayo Clinic