The causes of brain injury often result in the deterioration or destruction of brain cells. Unfortunately, nearly 1½ million individuals in the U.S. every year are afflicted with some kind of brain injury, and over 5 million individuals suffer many of the effects, signs and symptoms of brain damage. Approximately 50,000 individuals will die from brain injuries every year.
Brain injuries are classified in two specific categories including TBI (traumatic brain injury), and ABI (acquired brain injury). Both injuries disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Often times, the medical industry will use the terms interchangeably when describing both types of injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI is usually a direct result of an external force including a blow to the head. It often involves movement or damage inside, or on, the skull. This damage or movement in turn causes significant damage to the brain.
- Acquired Brain Injury – ABI is damage caused at the cellular level, often the result of pressure on the brain. Neurological illnesses are often the cause, including a stroke, or from a tumor growing inside the brain.
Brain damage can be caused by during childbirth, or through genetics. Considered congenital brain damage, this type of injury is often not recognized when happening, but diagnosed months or years later.
Localized Brain Damage
Many injuries of the brain are localized (focal) damage. As an example, a gunshot to the brain can cause significant focal damage, confined to a specific small area. Many times, these closed-head injuries will cause significant diffuse brain damage to surrounding areas in the skull. Localized damage on one side of the brain often diffuses to the other side by nerves in the brain stretching throughout the area. This is often referred to as DAI (diffuse axonal injury).
The intensity level of traumatic brain injuries can be the result of numerous factors including the force of impact, and the nature of the harming event. Injuries of the brain often include at least one of the following factors:
- Bleeding around or in the brain, blood clots, swelling and any disruption of oxygen supply
- Brain cell damage can be limited to the area under the skull beneath the point of impact
- Any severe jolt or blow might cause damage at multiple points because the brain has the ability to move inside the skull
- Any spinning or rotational jolt can easily cause the cellular structures of the brain to tear
- Any blast, especially from an explosive device, might cause extensive widespread damage
- Any object that penetrates the skull might cause significant irreparable damage to the brain, blood vessels, cells and protective tissue
Brain Injuries That May Result From Everyday Occurrences
There are specific common events that have the ability to cause TBI. They include:
- Falling – A fall down a flight of stairs or out of bed, along with a slip in the bathtub or off ladders can cause significant traumatic brain injuries, especially in younger children and older adults
- Automobile-Related Collision – Any collision accident as a driver, rider or pedestrian involving bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles can cause significant traumatic injuries to the brain.
- Acts of Violence – Approximately 10 percent of all TBIs in Illinois are caused by an act of violence including a gunshot wound, child abuse or domestic violence. In addition, shaken baby syndrome (SBS) causes serious injury by damaging brain cells when an infant is shaken violently.
- Sports-Related injury – A large number of extreme indoor high-impact sports activities including hockey, skateboarding, lacrosse, baseball, football, boxing, soccer and others can cause serious injury of the brain.
- Combat Injury Including Explosives – Military personnel on active duty are often victims of explosive blasts that can cause significant injury through the disruption of normal brain function. TBI can also be a result of a severe blow to the head, involving debris or shrapnel, body collisions, falls, and penetrating wounds.
Legal Options In The Aftermath of a Brain Injury Due to the Act of Others
Many times, traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury are the result of negligent actions of others. If you, or a loved one, are suffering from brain injury caused by an accident, incident, or medical malpractice, you might be entitled to receive financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers offer a no-obligation, free consultation to discuss your case. Call the law firm at (888) 424-5757 to speak with an attorney about filing a claim for financial recompense to cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses associated with your injuries.