What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most consequential injuries that a driver or passenger can suffer as a result of a car accident.

It’s important to understand how TBIs are diagnosed and how they can affect a person’s life, since compensation may be required to cover medical bills, loss of employment, or other related expenses.

Below, the brain injury lawyers at Dennis & King discuss brain injuries in more detail and what you can do to protect your rights after an accident.

Brain Injuries from Auto Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the third most common event that results in TBI-related death. Unfortunately, even minor crashes can cause a TBI.

Specifically, a TBI is brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head.

Traumatic brain injuries aren’t one type of injury; rather, TBIs exist on a spectrum, which ranges from minor to severe.

Minor TBIs are commonly referred to as concussions and usually don’t require significant medical intervention. However, severe brain injuries may require surgery and ongoing medical care.

Diagnosis of Brain Injuries

After a car accident, it’s advised that victims seek medical attention, even if they’re convinced nothing’s wrong. That’s because brain injuries can be elusive. In fact, adrenaline, which is usually coursing through crash victims, can mitigate the perception of pain—even well after the accident!

Symptoms of a mild TBI might include:

  • A headache
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble with attention, concentration, memory, or thinking

As a precaution, medical clearance is always preferred, for both the safety of others and yourself. That being said, some brain injuries will be obvious, and immediate medical attention may be required.

Moderate to severe symptoms of TBI might include:

  • A headache that worsens or won’t go away
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior

Types of Brain Injuries

There are both primary and secondary injuries that may occur as a result of TBI:

Primary brain injuries are instantaneous during the crash event, and there’s little that can be done to reverse the impact or injury. However, doctors may attempt to stop adverse effects such as:

  • Intracranial hematomas
  • Skull fractures
  • Contusions/Coup-Contrecoup

Conversely, secondary injuries become apparent hours or even days after the accident, often due to reduced oxygen flow to the brain. Secondary injuries common among TBI victims might include:

  • Cerebral edema (increased intracranial pressure)
  • Hydrocephalus (increased pressure on the skull)
  • Hypoxia and hypotensions
  • Ischemia (a blockage or build-up of blood cells due to insufficient oxygen)
  • Second Impact Syndrome (a rare injury in which a person sustains a second concussion before symptoms of the first have subsided)

Brain Injury Effects

While some effects of TBI are obvious or immediate there are long-term conditions that pose an equal concern. For example:

  • Altered consciousness (brain death, coma, vegetative state)
  • Communication difficulties that may result in cognitive challenges or social problems
  • Chronic physical complications (headaches, infections, seizures, vertigo)
  • Behavioral, emotional, and sensory changes

In a worst-case scenario, degenerative brain diseases can develop and worsen over time. Moreover, TBI victims are more likely to suffer from:

  • Addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injuries

If you, a friend, or a loved one is in an accident and suffers a TBI, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and get help right away. The next step: contact a Tennessee injury lawyer to discuss the accident and your rights.

Who to Contact for a TBI Claim

At Dennis & King, we’re equipped to handle all kinds of cases involving traumatic brain injuries. Our compassionate attorneys will answer your questions and guide you through the legal process.

Plus, our attorneys have the foresight needed to ensure compensation is available to cover all related expenses including future medical bills that may result as a consequence of the accident. With decades of experience backing your claim, you can be sure no money is left on the table.

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