Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability for both adults and children in the United States. According to the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida, 1.4 million Americans sustain TBI each year; about 50,000 die, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released. But often those treated and released have sustained injuries that were not properly recognized, and their injuries go undiagnosed for too long.
What is TBI?
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or other injury to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The most common causes of TBI are falls, vehicle accidents, and being struck by or against an object. Vehicular accidents are the leading cause of TBI resulting in hospitalization or a visit to the ER.
TBIs can be open or closed, and are classified as mild, moderate, and severe. An open TBI is an injury in which the skull is fractured. A closed injury does not include a skull fracture. However, this can be more dangerous, since swelling inside the skull could create pressure that causes blood clots or damage to tissues, nerves, or blood vessels.
A “mild” TBI or concussion can cause the brain to move within the skull, damaging brain cells and affecting chemical changes in the brain. This may cause a change in the way a person thinks, learns, feels, and acts. It may cause pain or sleep issues. These so-called mild TBIs are still serious, affecting learning, memory, concentration, and problem-solving. Repeated concussions can accumulate and result in serious damage to the brain.
Moderate and severe TBIs are usually caused by vehicular crashes, assaults, and falls (especially among the elderly). A person with a moderate or severe TBI may need extensive therapy to aid in recovery, and may require ongoing care.
Signs of TBI or concussion may include:
- Severe headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme tiredness
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Weakness or numbness in extremities or on one side
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Sensory problems such as odd taste, ability to smell, ringing in ears
- Difficulty concentrating
What are the long-term effects of TBI?
An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with TBI-related disabilities, and that number increases each year. The types of disabilities range dramatically, including cognitive, physical, professional, and emotional/psychological.
Cognitive effects may include impaired thinking, problem-solving, or memory; learning disabilities; and difficulty communicating.
Physical effects may include impaired sensations, such as ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and the inability to feel things; damage to motor skills such as muscle stiffness, uncontrolled movements, difficulty walking, and paralysis; painful headaches; ongoing exhaustion; weakness or numbness of parts of the body; and loss of fine motor skills, such as writing or dressing.
Professional effects may include the inability to work or maintain employment and the inability to attend or continue education.
Emotional/psychological effects may include personality changes; mood swings; depression or anxiety; inability to distinguish the emotions of others; inability to maintain relationships; explosive temper; and the inability to take part in social events.
Do you deserve compensation for your injuries?
The financial cost of living with TBI is significant and can easily bankrupt a family. But the effects on quality of life, relationships, and ability to think, interact, move, or have normal emotions are incalculable.
As a Florida personal injury lawyer, I am dedicated to helping people who are injured in the state of Florida receive the compensation they deserve. I have compassion for my clients’ needs, and I have a reputation among judges and insurance companies as an attorney who consistently wins. Please reach out to me at (954) 448-7288, 24/7 for a free consultation to see how I can help you receive just and fair compensation to cope with the traumatic brain injury you have sustained due to someone else’s negligence.