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Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common yet least understood personal injuries that occur as a result of automobile collisions and workplace accidents.

TBIs can range from the most severe (death, coma and paralysis) to relatively minor (difficulty with short-term memory, mood swings and dizziness). While the most severe TBIs are obvious because of visible injuries to the head and neck, it is the mild brain injury that is often overlooked and takes time to diagnose and treat.

Understanding Closed Head Injuries

When most of us think of head injuries, we imagine fractured skulls and open head wounds. This is why mild brain injuries can be missed. Even if there is no apparent trauma to the head, like a cut, the brain can be damaged in what are called “closed head injuries.”

A closed head injury occurs when something strikes the head but does not cause an open wound or when a strong force – like a car accident – causes the head to jerk violently without hitting anything. Recently, these kinds of injuries have received more attention because of the substantial number of veterans returning home with TBIs suffered from being in close proximity to a bomb blast, even when nothing physically touches their heads.

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Why Closed Head Injuries Are So Dangerous

Although the skull protects the brain from most external forces, our soft brains have little protection against the violent forces that are created by modern technology or from something simple like a fall. After a car accident, you may have obvious injuries, like fractures, sprains, abrasions and bruises, but the headache and dizziness you might feel may be more than the lasting effects of the sound of impact or the discharge of airbags.

The force generated from an accident can injure the brain in a variety of ways. When the head is in motion and suddenly stops or is violently jerked in one or more directions, the brain can momentarily be compressed toward one side of the skull. You can literally “sprain” your brain. The shock these forces generate can cause bleeding of the brain, interrupt blood flow in the brain, damage connections between brain tissue and cause other types of brain trauma.

Symptoms Of TBI

The symptoms of a TBI usually depend on what part of the brain is injured and the degree of severity. Common TBI symptoms include the following: short-term memory loss, difficulties with problem-solving, difficulties reading and hearing, dizziness, headaches, seizures, irritability, mood swings, and depression. A TBI can take weeks, months or years to heal, but can also be permanent.

We also know how important it is for personal injury victims to receive compensation for negligently caused brain injuries. Martin and Jones have experienced attorneys ready to help.  We have office locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington North Carolina.  Compensation ensures that you are in the best position to treat your brain injury and obtain the best recovery possible.  

Penetrating Head Injuries

Penetrating head injuries, also referred to as open head injuries, occur when an object penetrates and fractures the skull. This can include things like gunshot wounds to the head as well as objects penetrating the skull in a fall or car accident. 

What is Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)?

A diffuse axonal injury occurs when the brain is subjected to severe forces that cause it to rotate and shift inside the skull. This, in turn, causes the axons (the long connective nerve fibers of the brain) to tear. A DAI is a severe brain injury that often results in a coma and other injuries to different parts of the brain. 

What is a Primary and Secondary Brain Injury?

Because the brain is such a delicate organ, traumatic brain injuries are often complex. Many TBIs result in both a primary and secondary brain injury: 

  • The primary brain injury is the initial injury to the brain that is considered to be complete at the time it occurs. 
  • The secondary brain injury refers to the consequential damage to the blood vessels and other tissues of the brain that can develop over the following hours or days as a result of the primary brain injury. 

What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused any time there is trauma to the head. While some TBIs are the result of intentional violence such as assaults or shootings, many other TBIs are caused by accidents. Some of the most common causes of brain injuries include the following: 

If you were injured in one of these types of accidents, it is important to understand how your TBI will impact your claim. You need a North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer who understands the importance of maximizing compensation so that you can get the treatment you need and rebuild your life. 

What Causes Bruising and Internal Damage to the Brain?

Trauma to the head can cause the brain to violently move back and forth within the skull. This can cause swelling and bleeding within the skull, creating pressure that affects the functioning of the brain. 

In addition, something known as a coup-contrecoup injury is common in these scenarios. The “coup” is the site where the initial impact occurred, which can cause bruising or bleeding. As the brain jolts backward from the initial impact, it can suffer a second “contrecoup” injury when it strikes the other side of the skull. 

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

You should seek immediate medical attention if you’ve experienced any of the following: 

  • A loss of consciousness or you lost track of time immediately after suffering a blow to the head
  • Persistent or recurring headaches that seem to be getting worse and over-the-counter treatments are ineffective
  • At least one seizure following your accident
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances, meaning you are extremely fatigued and have difficulty waking up or are experiencing considerable insomnia
  • Unexplained or uncharacteristic mood swings

Even if you initially declined medical treatment, do not hesitate to schedule a thorough medical examination with your doctor if you think you may have suffered a brain injury. If you are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, you should consider discussing your situation with a North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer. 

How Can an Attorney Help with My Brain Injury Case?

An experienced lawyer will be able to identify whether you have a claim and what your claim may be worth. A skilled North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you in many different ways. For example, your attorney can: 

  • Coordinate whatever medical treatment you need
  • Thoroughly investigate your accident
  • Gather and compile whatever documentation and evidence you will need to support your claim
  • Handle all of the correspondence with the insurance company, the at-fault party, and any other parties involved in the case
  • Obtain witness statements
  • Submit and negotiate your claim with the insurance company 
  • Advocate for your interests and protect your rights
  • Provide legal advice and guidance concerning your options 
  • File a lawsuit and pursue litigation if the insurance company refuses to settle your case

An attorney can handle almost every aspect of your case so that you can focus on your recovery. They can help you get the compensation you need to pay for your treatment and take care of your family. 

Frequently Asked Questions About TBIs

What Is Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The CDC defines a TBI as an injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, typically caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or penetration injury. TBIs can range from mild to severe and include everything from a concussion to severe brain damage. 

Is A Concussion Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes, a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by trauma to the head that causes the brain to move within the skull. Concussions can range from mild to severe, but recent studies have shown that even mild concussions can have long-term consequences. 

What Are Some Common Examples of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Concussions are the most common type of TBI, which can range from mild to severe. In addition to concussions, some other common examples can include the following: 

  • Skull fractures
  • Contusions (bruising on the brain)
  • Intracranial hematoma, or bleeding within the skull that puts pressure on the brain
  • Diffuse axonal injuries, where long connecting fibers are torn from the brain when it shifts within the skull

Can You Recover From Traumatic Brain Injury or Are They Permanent?

Whether you can recover from a TBI will depend on the severity of the injury. Some people who suffer mild or moderate brain injuries can expect to make a full recovery, while others face a lifetime of cognitive and physical disabilities. 

It can be difficult to diagnose the extent of a brain injury at the outset or predict your likelihood of recovery. Unfortunately, the insurance company may try to settle your claim as quickly as possible. If you have suffered a serious brain injury, a North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer can protect your rights while you work towards recovery. 

What Are The Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The long-term effects of a TBI will depend on the part of the brain that was injured and the severity of the injury. For example, an injury to the frontal lobe may result in problems with judgment, impulse control, planning, and reasoning. Injuries to the left side of the brain may cause speech difficulties, trouble understanding others, and problems with reasoning. Injuries to the right side of the brain can make it difficult to perform regular or familiar tasks. Some of the more common long-term effects of severe TBIs include the following: 

  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems
  • Paralysis
  • Vertigo
  • Mood disorders
  • DIzziness
  • Fatigue

Any one of these issues can make it incredibly difficult to work, take care of your family, or simply live your daily life. If you have suffered a TBI that will likely have long-term effects, you should contact a North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer as soon as possible.  

What Compensation Might I Be Entitled to For Traumatic Brain Injury?

Of course, there is no one answer to this question that will apply to every case. That said, if your TBI was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the following: 

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Current and future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering

An experienced North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer will use these components to calculate the total value of your claim. The goal is to ensure that you can continue to receive the care you need and pay your bills so that you can focus on your recovery. 

How Long Does TBI Rehabilitation Take?

The length of time that it will take to recover from your TBI will vary depending on the severity of your injury. For mild injuries, it may be a matter of days or weeks, while severe injuries may require months or even years to make a full recovery. During this time, you may be unable to work or perform other essential daily activities. A North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer can make sure that your interests are fully protected while you are in rehabilitation. 

Talk to a North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer at Martin & Jones

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you need someone on your side who will fight for fair and full compensation. With decades of experience helping people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, our attorneys know what it takes to get results. Contact us today by calling 800-662-1234 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with a knowledgeable North Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer. 

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Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Costly According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and millions of emergency room visits.  The CDC estimates that in the United States 1.7 million […]

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