Traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”) are often quite serious, and they may bring a lifetime of challenges that were not previously known by the TBI victim. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or your loved one has sustained a brain injury due to someone’s reckless or negligent behavior, you may have a valid legal claim to collect compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and the expenses that will likely result from the TBI.
Many Oregonians suffer serious injuries in car accidents each year, and many of those are head injuries are “traumatic brain injuries”. Some TBI’s leave victims incapacitated in such a major way that they will require assistance with activities of daily living for the rest of their lives
What is a TBI?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury is “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain,” but not all jolts and blows to the head result in TBI. A TBI’s severity will range from “mild,” which results in a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” which results in an extended period of change in consciousness, mental status or memory loss following the accident. The most common type of mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion; a concussion usually allows the victim to return to normal functioning in just a few days.
Severe traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability and contributes to about 30% of all injury deaths. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives. Short and long-term effects of TBI may include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (vision and hearing), or emotional functioning (personality changes or depression).
TBI and Car Accidents
Over 50% of all reported TBI’s occur in auto accidents; a TBI can occur as a result of any force that penetrates or fractures the skull. The head is one of the most susceptible to injury parts of the body in a vehicle collision.
Trauma can occur when the head strikes the steering wheel, door or windshield. In vehicle collisions, the sheer force of the crash can cause the brain to collide against the skull bone. This occurs when your head movement comes to an abrupt halt, but the brain continues its movement striking the interior of the skull.
When this occurs, a contusion may result (bruising of the brain) or you may suffer a brain bleed known as a brain hemorrhage, which may not even be visible at the time of the injury. Medical testing will be necessary to accurately determine the severity of your brain injury.
Long-term Effects of TBI
There are many long-term ongoing physical symptoms of traumatic brain injury:
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Visual difficulties
Non-physical long-term effects of TBI include:
- Sleep difficulties
- Inability to manage time properly
- Deficits in attention and concentration
- Depression and anxiety
- Aggression and other personality changes
People with traumatic brain injury may face long-term challenges including:
- Higher likelihood of death
- Lower rates of employment
- Reduced participation in activities
If you’ve suffered a TBI or if a loved one has suffered a TBI due to someone’s careless or negligent behavior, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Please contact a personal injury attorney in your area to schedule a free consultation.