Our law firm handles a lot of brain injury cases, both from childbirth and from traumatic collisions like a car or truck accident. Below are questions we are frequently asked about these claims.
Traumatic brain injury overview
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by force impact or force to the head disrupting normal brain activity and causing neurologic damage. TBIs account for about 30% of injury deaths in the United States. According to the CDC, about 153 people die from TBI-related injuries every day in the United States.
What causes brain injuries?
There are several causes of brain injuries. They include:
- Being hit or struck by a blunt object
- Motor vehicle accidents
What happens when a brain injury occurs?
When a traumatic brain injury occurs the functioning of the internal neurons, nerve tracts, and other sections of the brain may be immediately impacted. This immediate disruption of involving the brain’s neurons and nerve tracts temporarily blocks the brain’s ability to send messages to control the rest of the body. A person’s thinking, behavior, feelings, and movement may be adversely impacted by this.
Examples of brain injury
Brain injury severity can range significantly between mild concussions to permanent brain damage. The following are some common examples.
- Concussions are TBIs that impact brain function. While its effects are mostly temporary, it can cause headaches and difficulty with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination. Blows to the head are the usual cause of concussions. Violent head shakes and upper torso may lead to concussions as well.
- Cerebral contusions consist of bleeding on the brain’s surface. They tend to occur around the front and temporal lobes. Cerebral contusions are more severe than concussions, and occur when the brain hits the inside of the skull.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries occur when a blow or impact to the head causes side damage to the brain at the direct site and the opposite side. They usually occur after severe impact trauma to the head.
- Diffuse axonal injuries are TBIs that occur when axons are torn because of the brain bouncing around the skull due to a traumatic impact to the head. It is one of the most severe forms of TBI and may damage many parts of the brain. More often than not, diffuse axonal injuries lead to comatose or a vegetative state.
- One may receive a second TBI before the first TBI’s symptoms healed. It is also known as either a “recurrent traumatic brain injury” or “second impact syndrome.” This second TBI can occur between days to weeks after the first one. One may not necessarily lose consciousness from it. However, it can cause swelling and further damage to the brain.
- Shaken baby syndrome occurs when someone shakes an infant in a forceful manner. It results in a loss of oxygen and brain cell death. It is considered a form of child abuse. Shaken baby syndrome may cause permanent brain damage and death.
- A penetrating head injury, also known as an open head injury, occurs when a projectile such as a bullet or a knife reaches the skull which causes significant injury to the brain.
What to do if you suspect a brain injury?
Even if there is only a slight chance you have experienced a brain injury, you need to seek medical attention immediately. The injuries may be much more severe than the symptoms experienced. Having your brain examined by professionals is critical to properly assess the injury severity. CT scans and X-rays enable one to examine the brain directly, which gives a better assessment than symptoms themselves.
During the recovery process, the best thing you can do for yourself is getting plenty of rest. This gives your brain time to heal. Make sure you are not conducting activities that may endanger you. This includes driving a car, even if your injuries are minor, because your motor skills may be impacted. Make sure to take any medications prescribed to you and listen to your medical professional. These instructions are important as they are a guide to your own recovery.
What affects the value of a head trauma claim in Maryland?
The value of a brain trauma case in Maryland depends on several factors. They can depend on the defendant’s actions, whether or not the plaintiff was partly liable, and how severe the plaintiff’s injuries and damages were. An attorney would need to analyze a plaintiff’s medical records. These records include doctor’s notes, physical and occupational therapy records, diagnostic reports, and any test results from all health care providers the client has seen. The attorney would also consult medical experts who can provide insight into the future prognosis and long-term medical costs.