Traumatic brain injury, also know as TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by a traumatic event, such as a car accident. It is also referred to as closed head injury, although traumatic brain injury is a more specific type of closed head injury.
Traumatic brain injury manifests itself in many different ways. Because our brain controls personality, the senses, the ability to control and manage information, and the ability to logically reason, it controls all aspects of our lives. As a result, an injury to the brain can have a dramatic effect on how we think and live.
Unlike a broken bone, the brain has a more difficult time regaining previous function. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery and differs from person to person.
Often, one of the consequences of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred. They think everything is normal, but to family and friends, it is readily apparent the personality and thinking ability of the traumatic brain injury patient is different.
It has been reported that car accidents result in over 50% of all traumatic brain injuries.
What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?
There are numerous mechanisms for what causes a traumatic brain injury. However, there are three main processes that work tighter to injure the brain – bleeding, swelling and tearing.
Bleeding or bruising refers to when the soft tissue of the brain is propelled against the hard bone of the skull. This collision inside the skull can cause the blood vessels to break or tear, resulting in bleeding inside the brain. Bleeding in the brain is very uneven and can interrupt neurons and prevents receptors from working, creating permanent damage.
The bruising from a traumatic brain injury due to a car accident usually refers to the “contra-coup” effect. When the brain is propelled against the front part of the hard skull at impact during a car accident, bruising can occur. However, the brain then moves backward and bounces against the back of the skull. This bouncing effect can create serious and very harmful bruising on the brain itself resulting in serious brain injury.
The bouncing effect and subsequent bleeding also leads to swelling in the brain. Because the brain is encased in a hard skull, the blood has nowhere to go inside the hard non-expansive skull. This can cause intense pressure in the skull resulting in brain swelling. If too much swelling occurs, it can become life threatening and doctors must operate on the brain to relief the pressure.
Tearing in the brain also occurs from a contra-coup injury. This tearing disturbs the neurons and wiring in the brain, leading to defects ranging from loss of motor skills, cognitive ability to memory loss.
What are the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms from traumatic brain injury differ in any different ways. Some patients have short-term and/or long-term memory loss. Photophobia and vision impairment is also a symptom. Other symptoms include headache, difficulty thinking, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration.
Cognitive defects are also a major symptom from traumatic brain injury. Even basic skills such as reading comprehension, completing simple puzzles and putting things in sequential order can be affected.
What are the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The effects of TBI are numerous. The effects of so-called minor traumatic brain injury can include headaches, memory loss, difficulty thinking, frustration and violent mood swings. These effects can last for a short time of for months and even years.
The effects of more significant traumatic brain injury can also include loss of higher level cognitive function, severe short-term and/or long-term memory loss, speech problems and emotional difficulties.
For many people, long-term rehabilitation is needed to regain cognitive function and independence. Speech and occupational therapy may be required. Different doctors and therapists can work with the TBI patient to help restore his or her prior lifestyle.
The Michigan traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. help individuals with traumatic brain injury obtain compensation for their injuries. We treat our clients with the respect and dignity they deserve and work to make sure the insurance companies know and understand the daily struggle traumatic brain injury victims endure.
If you have a question about traumatic brain injury, please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).