What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Following an Accident?

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There is a wide range of injuries you may suffer as the result of any type of accident. However, a brain injury is particularly frightening and dangerous as it can affect your ability to think, work, and live independently. Brain injuries can range from mild to severe. Severe brain injuries can persist for a lifetime.

If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury following an accident, a Philadelphia accident lawyer can help get you financial compensation to deal with care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) ?

A traumatic brain injury occurs when your brain experiences trauma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as an injury that disrupts the natural, normal function of the brain. The injury could be caused by a blow, jolt, bump, or penetration of the skull.

Many people wrongly assume that for a TBI to occur, your brain has to experience trauma in a major accident. The reality is that even a slight fall may lead to a TBI. Two types of injury can lead to a TBI:

Blunt force trauma

Blunt force trauma occurs when your skull hits or is hit by another object with some degree of force. This could be anything from a fall from a step to your head striking the dashboard in a car accident.

Penetrating trauma

In this type of injury, the actual membrane that covers your brain (the dura) is penetrated. This can be caused by a bullet, knife, or another sharp object, but it can also be an after-effect of blunt force trauma if the initial blow caused chips of your skull to penetrate the dura.

Seriousness of TBI’s

With brain injuries, time is of the essence. Any trauma to the brain causes it to swell, which reduces the blood flow. This causes what is known as intracranial pressure. If this issue is not dealt with quickly by medical professionals, it can lead to serious complications such as hemorrhaging or blood clots.

What are the classifications Terms of TBI used by Medical Staff ?

  • Mild – Patients with a mild TBI usually retain consciousness but may appear confused. 
  • Moderate – Patients classified with a moderate TBI may experience some unconsciousness, with it lasting from several minutes to 6 or 7 hours. The patient presents as lethargic and confused and likely has swelling of the brain or bleeding on the brain. 
  • Severe – A patient with a severe TBI is unconscious, and typically remains that way for more than 6 or 7 hours. They do not respond to any stimuli.

At a very early stage, any patient with a TBI is given a rating on the Glasgow scale. This is based on the consciousness level of the patient, and doctors make a judgment based on three factors: Eye response and opening, the ability to give a verbal response, and level of motor response. This is only an initial judgment and may change as treatment progresses.

I Feel Fine, Do I need to Be Checked at a Hospital ?

A big problem with TBIs is that they do not always immediately manifest. In some cases, it may be days or even months after the actual accident when problems show themselves. Always see a doctor if you have suffered any sort of blow to the head, and if you experience any of these symptoms after a blow to the head, seek medical help:

  • Memory loss
  • Feeling confused
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Sleep issues
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Balance problems

Hiring a Lawyer Following a Traumatic Brain Injury

A TBI can be a minor inconvenience or a life-changing event. It may lead to some headaches for a few days, or it may require major neurosurgery. Whatever the cause of the accident, you need the services of a Philadelphia brain injury attorney to help file a claim and pursue any compensation and damages you are entitled to.

The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky has many years of experience in this area of personal injury law. Our no-win, no-fee approach means that you do not pay any upfront fees. Contact us today at (215) 735-4800 for a no-obligation consultation.