A traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes any bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interferes at all with your normal brain function. The most common form of TBI is a concussion. When you sustain a concussion, an outside force makes your brain rock back and forth inside your skull, resulting in mild to severe brain damage.
EXPERTS ESTIMATE THAT AN AVERAGE OF 137 AMERICANS DIE OF TBI-RELATED COMPLICATIONS EVERY DAY.
How Do TBI’s Happen?
TBIs usually result from direct trauma, meaning something hits your head directly. However, concussions can result from indirect forces as well, such as a “whiplash” type injury. For instance, even if you are in a wreck but don’t hit your head on anything, you can still sustain a concussion if the sudden wreck caused your head to move rapidly back and forth. Typically, there is no or obvious outward sign of a TBI.
The vast majority of TBI cases that we see at the firm are from car crashes. Frequently, our clients have either hit their head on the steering wheel or dashboard or have experienced such severe whiplash that they developed a TBI without direct impact. However, TBIs also occur with serious falls, sports injuries, and even explosive blasts.
What Are The Leading Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
Common events causing traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Falls – Falls from bed or a ladder, downstairs, in the bath, and other falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury overall, particularly in older adults and young children.
- Vehicle-related collisions – Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, or bicycles — and pedestrians involved in such accidents — are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Violence – Gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse, and other assaults are common causes. The shaken baby syndrome is a traumatic brain injury in infants caused by violent shaking.
- Sports injuries – Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by injuries from a number of sports, including soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact or extreme sports. These are particularly common in youth.
- Explosive blasts and other combat injuries – Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in active-duty military personnel. Although how the damage occurs isn’t yet well understood, many researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain significantly disrupts brain function.
Traumatic brain injury also results from penetrating wounds, severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, and falls or bodily collisions with objects following a blast.
The people most at risk of traumatic brain injury include:
- Children, especially newborns to 4-year-olds
- Young adults, especially those between ages 15 and 24
- Adults age 60 and older
- Males in any age group
What Are The Symptoms Of A Concussion Or TBI?
Headaches and temporary loss of consciousness are by far the most common symptoms or signs of a TBI. Nausea, dizziness, and fatigue are also common symptoms. In severe cases, you may even have problems with your speech.
Less common symptoms are seizures, dilation of one or both pupils, and increased long-term drowsiness.
Traumatic brain injuries at the base of the skull can cause nerve damage to the nerves that emerge directly from the brain (cranial nerves). Cranial nerve damage may result in:
- Paralysis of facial muscles or losing sensation in the face
- Loss of or altered sense of smell or taste
- Loss of vision or double vision
- Swallowing problems
- Ringing in the ear
- Hearing loss
Concussion victims often experience sensory issues like blurry vision, tinnitus, sensitivity to noise and/or light, and an inability to smell.
More severe injuries may result in coma, mood changes, depression, anxiety, impaired hand-eye coordination, and changes in inability to communicate in the long term.
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms and have been in a car wreck or other traumatic event, you need to be seen by a physician as soon as possible. Many times a TBI’s worst symptoms can be mitigated entirely if the victim seeks treatment promptly.
You can also watch our YouTube Video with Attorney Joe Zarzaur and Dr. Evan Malone discuss the topic of closed head injuries sustained in a car accident HERE >
Why You Should Be Checked Out By a Doctor if You Have Hit Your Head in a Car Accident
If you sustain a head injury with any of the following symptoms you should be seen in an emergency room: Loss of consciousness at the time of the injury, confusion or disorientation after the injury, headache along with nausea and/or vomiting, difficulty using your arms or legs, or worsening sleepiness or confusion. Some closed head injury symptoms don’t show up right away.
Once you get home from the doctor’s office, the second thing you need to do is call an experienced lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.
So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a Board Certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.