Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is one of the most common causes of serious, long-term disability and death from all types of accidents. TBIs are common after a vehicle crash or a fall, especially from a significant height such as a ladder. TBIs contribute to millions of dollars annually in medical visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, and long-term loss of physical and mental ability.
What Are the Types of TBIs?
There are four major categories of TBIs. All can vary in severity and long-term consequences for the victim.
- Concussions are generally considered the mildest type of TBI, although even minor concussions can have significant health consequences. A concussion occurs when the victim suffers a blow to the head resulting in swelling of the brain against the skull. Concussions can also occur when someone is shaken violently; this sometimes happens in whiplash-type injuries in auto accidents. Concussions can cause nausea, headaches, and disorientation. If left untreated, concussions can lead to permanent brain damage, so any blow to the head should always be treated as if it is serious, even if the victim does not report serious symptoms at first.
- Contusions to the brain occur when a head impact results in bruising or leaking of blood, into the brain tissue. Contusions often occur when there is a sudden, sharp impact to the head, such as when a driver’s head hits a window, the windshield, or the steering wheel during a crash. In some cases, the contusion occurs on the side opposite the impact; this is known as a contrecoup injury and is commonly seen in vehicle accidents. Contusions can lead to long-term damage to affected brain tissue and can lead to serious swelling of the cranial space.
- Penetrating brain injuries. When an object breaches the skull, a penetrating brain injury may result. This is often the result of a sudden impact in a vehicle accident or from a slip-and-fall accident in which the victim’s head is penetrated by a sharp object. Skull fractures can lead to massive internal bleeding, brain contusions, and death, so seeking immediate treatment is critical. Any victim of a penetrating brain injury should be rushed to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
- Anoxic brain injury. Anoxic means “without oxygen.” This type of brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long a period of time. This can happen when a victim is suffocated by debris or during a drowning incident. It can also happen if the victim is attacked and choked. Anoxic brain injuries may result in long-term, irreversible brain damage, even if the victim survives.
No matter what type of brain injury a victim suffers, proper medical care is key to recovery. Victims who have suffered brain injuries need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that their medical bills are fully covered, especially if there is a need for long-term care. At Barber and Associates, we have helped many victims of TBIs recover damages to pay for their medical bills and other expenses. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.