A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a car accident, fall, assault or work-related accident. This type of head injury has been defined as “a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain.” Every year 1.4 million Americans will sustain a traumatic brain injury and 50,000 will die. It has been estimated that 20 percent of traumatic brain injury cases were caused by car accidents in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 5.3 million people across the United States have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities associated with daily living as a result of a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury is a life-altering event. It can lead to permanent disabilities that affect cognition, sensory processing and behavior.
Traumatic brain injury refers to the type of damage done to the brain. It can cause various symptoms depending on if the damage was mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Behavioral changes
- Trouble with memory or concentration
Someone who has sustained a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may experience the same symptoms as a mild case, but could also experience the following:
- Headache that gets worse or won’t go away
- Repeated vomiting
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Slurred speech
- Weakness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Restlessness or agitation
Although it is impossible to reverse brain damage, medical attention should be pursued immediately following a traumatic brain injury from a car accident or other catastrophic event. Emergency medical personnel will be able to stabilize the patient to reduce the chance of further injury. Medical staff will focus on ensuring that adequate oxygen supply and blood flow is going to the brain and the rest of the body and that blood pressure is controlled.
For moderate to severe traumatic brain injury cases, the treatment options may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Almost half of the individuals who sustain severe traumatic brain injuries will need surgery.
Depending on the cause of traumatic brain injury, the victim may be entitled to compensation. If the traumatic injury was caused by a car crash or other event where negligence was involved, damages may be recovered for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other costs associated with the injury. If you or a family member has a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas, LLP at 888-907-2631 for our Warrenton office or 800-741-1012 for our Culpeper office for expert legal advice.