Brain Injuries – or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – are some of the worst injuries that an individual can suffer. A leading cause of death and disability in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.5 to 1.7 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year. Unfortunately, adolescents, young adults and the elderly are at the highest risk of sustaining a brain injury.
Because the effects of a brain injury may not be felt for days, weeks, or even months following the injury, many individuals fail to seek the medical attention and care needed to protect their health. Knowing what symptoms to look out for – as either a victim or caretaker – can help prove to be the difference between life and death.
Your committed personal injury lawyer at Ramos James Law, PLLC, is committed to ensuring every client receives the medical care, compensation, and legal representation they deserve. A traumatic brain injury can be a horrifying experience but you and your family do not have to face it alone.
If you have questions about your head or brain injury, please consider the following information and contact Ramos James Law at (512) 537-3369 for the legal care you need.
About Brain Injuries
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines traumatic brain injuries as a form of acquired brain injury caused by sudden trauma. The effects of a traumatic brain injury vary depending on the severity of the injury, the age and gender of the individual, whether or not the person received immediate medical attention, genetics, and other factors.
Every individual will experience the effects of a TBI differently and that is why seeking medical treatment is essential to proper diagnosis. In the United States, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is the system used to define the severity of a TBI, which are classified as follows:
- Mild: Loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation for shorter than 30 minutes.
- Moderate: Loss of consciousness from 20 minutes to 6 hours.
- Severe: Loss of consciousness greater than 6 hours.
Individuals suffering from a brain injury should be aware that the level of severity does not necessarily equal the amount of health issues they will deal with. For instance, an individual who suffers what is categorized as a “Severe” TBI may be able to fully recover and suffer no long-lasting effects, while another individual who suffers from a “Mild” TBI may deal with life-long issues.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Some of the most common causes of head injuries include:
- Falls – Account for 40% of all TBIs.
- Unintentional Trauma – Can include being struck by or against an object.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Third most common cause of TBIs.
- Violence Trauma – Can include trauma stemming from physical violence.
- Sports-related injuries – Occur often in sports like football, soccer, basketball, and bicycling.
- Work-related – On the job slip and fall accidents account for 20% of work-related head injuries.
- Combat-related – Blast trauma has become a common injury among military personnel.
Common Symptoms of a Brain Injury
TBIs can cause blood to stop flowing to the brain, or hemorrhaging, in turn causing permanent damage. Common signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include but are not limited to:
- Vision problems
- Ringing in ears
- Physical weakness
- Sleep problems
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of consciousness
- Communication problems
- Slurred speech
- Issues with motor skills
- Full or partial paralysis
Alongside these primarily physical symptoms, a number of emotional and cognitive changes can occur as well. These may be temporary or lifelong and may include but are not limited to:
- Memory issues
- Changes in temperament
- Poor judgment
- Social skill difficulties
- Problem-solving issues
- Learning challenges
- Inappropriate behavior
- Cognitive issues
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
Seeing these symptoms in children can be difficult as they may not be able to adequately describe changes they are feeling. Parents and caregivers should watch for changes in activity or play, changes in eating/nursing habits, motor skill problems, loss of a skill such as toilet training, and changes in sleeping patterns.
This is by no means a complete list of symptoms. Individuals potentially suffering from a brain injury should seek medical care from an expert.
Health Problems Caused by Brain Injuries
A number of both physical and mental health complication can result from a traumatic brain injury. Serious short-term and long-term complications that can arise, include but are not limited to:
- Blood vessel damage
- Nerve damage
- Vegetative state & persistent vegetative state
- Severely altered consciousness
- Brain death
Finding Help When You Need It Most
Even when individuals suffering from a traumatic brain injury seek medical care, their condition is not always properly identified or treated. 80% of individuals seeking treatment in an emergency room setting are released within 24 hours.
If you or a family member has suffered a head or traumatic brain injury as a result of another party’s negligent behavior, you should seek legal support from an attorney who handles traumatic brain injury cases. These types of lawsuits can be scientifically demanding, requiring a supporting team of doctors, investigators, accident research specialists and other legal professionals to develop the best case for you.
You deserve to have a team that is committed to your needs and one that is well versed in traumatic brain injury cases. You deserve a personal injury attorney that truly cares about your situation and sees you more than just another case.
Ramos James Law, PLLC, will fight tirelessly for you and won’t take no for an answer. Consult our brain injury lawyer today at (512) 537-3369 to request an initial case evaluation.