Brain injuries, often referred to as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), develop from an external force to the head which results in the trauma of the brain forcefully colliding with the skull. For the 1.5 million people that annually experience TBI, the resulting injuries are often devastating and may cause, among physical damage such as a permanent vegetative state, coma, or death, additional emotional and behavioral problems for those who survive. Currently in the U.S. more than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBI, with their injuries ranging in severity from “mild” (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.
What Can Cause TBI?
Typically, traumatic brain injuries may be caused by one or more of the following factors:
- A severe blow or jolt can cause multiple points of damage because the brain may move back and forth in the skull.
- Tearing of cellular structures resulting from severe rotational or spinning jolt.
- A blast, such as from an explosive device.
- An object penetrating the skull, such as bullets or glass shards (as from a car windshield) which frequently results in irreparable damage to brain cells, blood vessels and protective tissues around the brain.
- Bleeding in or around the brain, swelling, or disrupted the oxygen flow which limits supply to the brain.
These factors are typically the result of the most common circumstantial reasons that TBI occurs:
- Vehicle-Related Collisions
- Medical Negligence, often in newborn babies improperly delivered
- Violence (gunshots, domestic violence, child abuse, Shaken Baby Syndrom, abusive head trauma)
- Sports InjuriesExplosive Blasts or Combat Injuries
Child Brain Injury
The functional impact of a child brain injury on a baby, small child or adolescent’s still-developing brain can return much greater and lasting consequences. TBI is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. Though cognitive impairments upon children may not be immediately apparent, children who have suffered a TBI-resulting accident (including babies who suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome) may face increased cognitive and social difficulties for new learning and more complex, socially appropriate behavior throughout their lives. Child brain injury can be a part of a birth injury and lead to medical malpractice claims.
When to Involve an Attorney
Certain circumstances surrounding the cause of an injury, and the ability to receive treatment, may require litigation, such as in the following three common cases:
- Collecting the appropriate insurance coverage for your injury claim.
- Opening a lawsuit against the individual/s who caused your injury.
- Obtaining social security disability.
The paradox of an apparently minor trauma causing major injuries and harm must be explained. If you or a loved one has a brain injury, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll that this type of harm can take on individuals and families. You should look for someone with experience in this type of case, not someone that is just close to you.