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Brain Injury Accident FAQs

Many traumatic brain injury victims never seek immediate medical attention to identify any brain issues in the hours or days following a traumatic event that harmed the head. Often, the first signs of a concussion, contusion, or brain hemorrhage do not appear until more than forty-eight hours after the traumatic event.

Untreated traumatic brain injuries can cause death or personality changes, including difficulty concentrating, abnormal mood swings, pain and suffering, anxiety, and depression. As the severe brain injury worsens over time, the cost of restoring everyday activities could skyrocket if full recovery is even possible.

A personal injury attorney from our law firm specializing in traumatic brain injury lawsuit cases has answered some of the most brain injury accident FAQs (frequently asked questions) about injuries and compensation below.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually the result of a sudden impact force to the head that damages the brain like a jolt, bump, blow, or strike. A TBI can also be a penetrating injury when an object penetrates the head.

Survivors of traumatic brain injuries can suffer mild, moderate, or serious effects that are often unrecoverable. A TBI victim might experience a coma, develop psychological or physical symptoms, or die.

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What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)?

A traumatic brain injury is typically the result of some blunt force impact to the head that damages the brain. 

The most common causes of a closed TBI that does not penetrate the head might include:

  • Falling, especially fall accidents involving seniors,
  • Car crashes, especially among young adults,
  • Getting hit in the head by an object,
  • Child abuse, especially in toddlers three years old and younger,
  • Explosive blasts

The most common causes of an open TBI where an object penetrates the head might involve:

  • A strike from shrapnel or a bullet,
  • A strike to the head with a baseball bat, knife, hammer, or another type of weapon,
  • The traumatic force that breaks off a bone fragment that penetrates the head,
  • Explosive blasts

Many events, including natural disasters, can leave a person with a penetrating or close TBI.

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What Sign Is Most Likely to Indicate Traumatic Brain Injury?

Typically, a serious brain injury victim will display common symptoms associated with a TBI that include:

  • Bad taste
  • Behavior problems
  • Blurry vision
  • Brief unconsciousness
  • Challenges with concentration, memory, thinking, or holding attention
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Increasing agitation and restlessness
  • Intense headaches that do not go away
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of impulse control
  • Mood changes
  • Mobility challenges
  • Personality and emotional changes
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Repeated nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Slurred speech
  • The inability to awaken
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Unconsciousness
  • Weakening or numbing sensations in legs and arms
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What is a CTA Brain Injury?

Doctors can perform a CTA (computed tomography angiographic) to identify vascular lesions in the brain that might have resulted in a severe brain injury caused by bleeding. The procedure typically combines a unique die injection before a CT (computed tomography) scan to identify body tissue and blood vessels.

A technician will inject the die intravenously through an IV tube in the hand or arm. The contrast material (dye) lights up in the imagery and might help identify blood vessels in the kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and other areas.

Diagnosticians use CTA technology to diagnose an aneurysm (and enlarged or near-rupturing blood vessel), atherosclerosis (fatty material-form plaque in arterial walls), blood vessel damage, blood clots, and tumors.

The contrast dye exposes the patient to minimal doses of radiation that could produce side effects, including an allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, or brain damage.

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What is Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is often the result of a blow to the head through violence, by accident, or from sports participation. An ABI is different from a traumatic brain injury resulting from birth trauma, congenital or degenerative conditions, or heredity.

The brain's reaction to traumatic impact causes an adverse change in neuronal activity, affecting the brain's nerve cells' functional ability, metabolic activity, and physical integrity. An ABI can involve traumatic and non-traumatic events.

Traumatic brain injuries are often the result of an assault, falling, sports injuries, or motor vehicle accidents. Non-traumatic head injuries might involve an aneurysm, near-drowning event, stroke, tumor, heart attack, restricted blood flow to the brain, or meningitis (an infectious disease affecting the brain).

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Can a Blunt Force Injury to the Forehead Result in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? 

Nearly all non-acquired traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) result from blunt force impact to the head. The damaging effects of the TBI could result in lifelong health problems or death. 

The treating physician will likely require round-the-clock monitoring by nurses or family members for a patient suffering a serious traumatic head injury to avoid any adverse neurological or physical injury if the condition is not treated correctly.

Many traumatic brain injury survivors were injured in vehicle accidents or while participating in sports activities. Over a lifetime, a sports enthusiast constantly taking hits to the head can develop CTE chronic traumatic encephalopathy that leaves the player with debilitating effects, including behavioral changes, depression, aggression, impaired judgment, and memory loss.

Older adults are at risk of TBIs from falling from the bed or wheelchair and striking their head against a hard object. Domestic and criminal violence can also result in a traumatic brain injury where even a mild blow can give the victim a moderate head injury.

The best treatment options for TBI survivors include support services, recovery information, and access to rehabilitation services.

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What is the Mildest Consequence of Traumatic Brain Injury?

A concussion is the mildest form of a traumatic brain injury occurring with a mild blow or strike to the head. The patient might experience a temporary loss of consciousness or develop temporary cognitive symptoms, including confusion, headache, diminished coordination, vomiting, nausea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sleepiness, dizziness, and excessive fatigue.

Many people experience concussions when participating in physical contact sports. Healthcare professionals typically recommend treating a concussive injury with rest and limiting activities until the brain fully recovers. 

Head injury survivors should avoid participating in sports, watching TV, playing video games, and socializing until the concussive symptoms subside.

According to the Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), individuals with mild brain injuries might benefit from eye-tracking technology that measures the effects of a TBI on the patient's motor, sensory, and cognitive abilities.

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What is Hypoxia Anoxic Brain Injury?

Serious traumatic brain injuries are usually the result of a direct striking force on the skull. Alternatively, hypoxic, and anoxic brain injuries are usually caused by diminished oxygen supply to the brain, often from an internal source like a developing stroke.

Hypoxic brain injuries develop when the necessary oxygen supply is restricted from entering the brain that will eventually impair brain cells and cause gradual brain tissue death.

Anoxic brain injuries typically occur approximately four minutes after the brain has been deprived of oxygen, leading to brain cell death.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Typically, only a competent doctor with the best diagnostic tools can accurately diagnose the severity of a traumatic brain injury to ensure the patient receives appropriate medical care. The diagnosis will include:

  • Identifying the details and symptoms associated with the injury,
  • A neurological examination,
  • Imaging through magnetic resonance imaging, CT scan, or x-rays,
  • Results of a Glasgow Coma Scale that measures the patient's ability to move, speak, and see,
  • Neuropsychological testing to identify problems with brain function.

During the recovery phase, the treating physician may use an effective clinical tool (the Rancho Los Amigos Scale) to identify how well the brain is recovering from the traumatic event and how much behavior and cognitive function have been restored.

The test identifies observable adverse or positive changes to auditory, proprioceptive, painful, tactile, vestibular, and visual stimuli. That test identifies localized responses, levels of confusion/agitation, and the patient's ability to carry out familiar and unfamiliar steps.

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What Type of Brain Injury Causes Memory Loss?

A mild concussion can create a temporary loss of consciousness and memory. However, severe memory loss is usually the result of moderate to severe brain trauma that damaged portions of the brain handling remembering and learning.

Typically, a traumatic brain injury affects the victim's short-term memory significantly more than their long-term memory function. Often, the traumatic brain injury victim has difficulty with prospective memory, "remembering to remember" essential events, chores, or the recent past.

Often, a victim suffering a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle accident cannot remember what happened that caused the injury. In time, TBI victims will work around not remembering, attempting to restore their everyday life.

Research studies reveal that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) might lead to forgetfulness. CTE is a debilitating brain disorder resulting from repeated brain injuries. CTE typically affects sports athletes like football players, hockey players, boxers, and others who experienced repeated trauma to the head.

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What Type of Brain Injury Is Bruising of the Brain Tissue?

Bruising the brain usually results in a contusion when the head is impacted by a blow, strike, or hit. Typically, a blow to the head will result in a concussive injury. The mild head traumatic event often results in a temporary loss of consciousness, not causing significant permanent damage to the brain.

Contusions might bruise brain matter at the site of the impact (coup injury) or on the opposite side of the impact (contrecoup injury). In many cases, the victim will suffer a combination of injuries other than contusions and concussions, including diffuse axonal injury, traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, hematoma, or secondary brain injury.

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How Many Traumatic Brain Injuries Injure People Every Year?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to 2 million adults and children in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury annually. Over half of all cases involve minor injuries that do not require emergent care.

Approximately 235,000 adults and children are hospitalized due to a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury annually. Nearly 50,000 traumatic brain injury victims die each year. 

Preventing a TBI-related death often requires immediate medical attention and extensive rehabilitation to recover over time fully. The victim must have access to brain injury services, including physical and occupational therapies, by a competent team at licensed rehabilitation centers.

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Where is the Brain Least Protected from Injury?

The brain's frontal lobe, primarily the prefrontal cortex (PSC), is highly susceptible to injury. Severe injury is often the result of shockwaves produced by the blunt force impact caused by an accident, violence, sports injury, or internal change like brain hemorrhaging.

There may be no identifiable damage to the brain in the first minutes and hours, other than the bruising, penetration, or injury outside the skull. Individuals involved in severe car crashes often appear lucid and perfectly okay upon an initial diagnosis at the accident scene.

Some victims do not experience a traumatic brain injury&'s initial symptom until up to forty-eight hours later. However, the impact force could cause brain tissue to twist, damaging tissue, and nerves, tearing at veins and arteries that run through the brain, causing blood to leak.

The presence of blood and swelling can squeeze the brain, causing the tissue to die without immediate medical care. Because of that, rehabilitation professionals recommend seeking immediate medical care even if you believe your head injury is minor.

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How Much Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Worth in a Personal Injury Case?

The value of any personal injury claim, including those with a traumatic brain injury, varies significantly between cases. The unique circumstances of your case will help determine its value.

Typically, resolving a traumatic brain injury case caused by others' negligent actions can settle for $100,000 on average or more. Claims that settle for millions of dollars are not uncommon.

The amount that the jury awards or the attorneys negotiate during a settlement agreement meeting is not the amount that the victim (plaintiff) will receive. Other expenses are taken before the victim receives their check.

Typically, a brain injury lawyer specializing in traumatic brain injury lawsuit cases will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they are paid only after the suit is successfully resolved or the jury awards an amount. 

These attorneys typically pay any upfront expenses, including the cost of medical experts that will testify in court about the victim's injuries. Other fees could include:

  • Court expenses
  • Independent medical experts
  • Damage experts
  • Accident scene reconstructionist,
  • The cost to interview witnesses.

The traumatic brain injury attorney will typically advance funds exceeding $10,000 or $20,000 before the case is heard at trial. In the end, the law firm will likely take one-third (33%) of the negotiated settlement for their legal services and up to 40% if the case must be heard in front of a judge and jury.

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How Do I Prove Someone's Negligence Caused My Loved One Traumatic Brain Injury?

If you contact a law firm and file a civil lawsuit or personal injury claim seeking financial compensation to recover your damages, you will need to prove how another's negligence caused your harm. 

A brain injury attorney working on your behalf will build your case to prove that another motorist in a car accident, a player at a sporting event, military personnel at war, or nurse's aide in a nursing home:

  • Had a duty to ensure your safety,
  • Breached their duty to ensure your safety,
  • Their breach (negligence) led to the event that caused your harm,
  • You suffered severe injuries from their negligence, including a traumatic brain injury.

The legal bases of resolving a traumatic brain injury case are complicated. Because of that, consider hiring personal injury lawyers who understand brain injury tort law to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Your brain injury lawyer can identify the extent of the other person's negligence that led to your harm, the response to the medical team that provided your care, and likely find multiple parties to name as defendants in your case.

Using a less qualified law firm could significantly reduce the amount of compensation you, a loved one, or family member will receive to pay for your hospitalization costs, medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain, and suffering. Also, the car accident law firm will provide legal advice and have access to all resources necessary for a successful outcome.

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