Traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to damage or destruction of brain tissue caused by a blow to the head. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of all head injuries, accounting for about 28% of traumatic brain injuries.
What Constitutes A Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of acquired brain injury, occurring when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when the skull is pierced by an object which penetrates brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes.
Symptoms of TBI
If you have hit your head in a car accident, don’t be tempted to dismiss the possibility of a traumatic brain injury without being checked by a medical professional. You should get medical help immediately if you or anyone else in the accident:
- Becomes drowsy
- Behaves abnormally
- Has a stiff neck
- Develops a severe headache
- Passes out / Loses consciousness
A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
Treatments for TBI
Since traumatic brain injuries can vary in severity, levels of necessary treatment will vary as well. A mild traumatic brain injury will usually just require rest and over-the-counter pain medications to treat the headache. A person with a mild TBI should be monitored closely for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms. A moderate to severe traumatic brain injury will likely need emergency care to make sure the person has enough oxygen and an adequate blood supply, as well as maintaining blood pressure to prevent further injury.
Some severe brain injuries may require immediate surgery to minimize secondary damage due to inflammation, bleeding or reduced oxygen supply to the brain. Emergency surgery may be required to:
- Remove clotted blood (hematomas)
- Repair skull fractures
- Stop bleeding in the brain
Rehabilitation After A TBI
Most people who have had a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury will require rehabilitation. They may need to relearn basic skills, like walking or talking, and improve their abilities to perform normal daily activities.
Rehabilitation therapy begins in the hospital and continues at an inpatient rehabilitation center, a residential treatment center or through at home outpatient services. The level of rehabilitation required is different for each person, depending on the severity of the brain injury and which part of the brain was injured.
Contact An Experienced Massachusetts & Rhode Island Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a family member have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, please contact one of our experienced attorneys. We will walk you through the details of your claim and help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
Photo Copyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo