Head injuries can happen to anyone, at anytime. While there are an estimated 1.7 million cases of brain injury reported every year, there are still many cases that are left undocumented and untreated. Brain injury is serious, with long-lasting health and disability implications.
Our team of personal injury lawyers put together this article to highlight everything you need to know about traumatic brain injuries. Please take the time to review so you know the steps you should take if you or someone you know shows symptoms of brain injury.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury is a sudden movement of the head and brain that can cause the brain to bounce or twist in the skull, stretching and injuring brain cells. This damage is called a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
TBI can occur in two forms: open and closed. An open brain injury is less common, and occurs when a foreign objects goes through the skull and enters the brain. A closed head injury, on the other hand, is much more common and involves any bump, hit or blow to the head.
Traumatic Brain Injury Facts and Statistics
The occurrence of traumatic brain injury is on the rise. As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to increase awareness about brain injury to help prevent TBI at home, in schools, on the road and during recreational activities.
Take a look at some of the important facts about TBI:
- Falls result in the greatest number of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits and hospitalization.
- An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually.
Age and Gender Statistics:
- Males aged 0 to 4 years have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths combined.
- Children aged 0 to 4 years, older adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI.
- Almost 500,000 emergency department visits for traumatic brain injury are made annually by children aged 0 to 14 years.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injury
It should be no surprise to hear that car accidents and brain injuries often go hand in hand. Even a simple fender bender can result in a driver or passenger head hitting the steering wheel, a windshield or windowpane. In addition, brain injuries can also come from whiplash, which often occurs in rear-end collisions or object-impact collisions.
Here are some facts about car accidents and brain injury:
- Motor vehicle–traffic injury is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related death.
- About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury.
While it is important that you understand the prevalence of brain injury, it may also be helpful to understand the steps you should follow if you, or someone you know suffers a hit to the head. Please read on to learn more.
What Can Cause Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can result from many everyday actions. The most common cause of brain injury is car accidents, and motor vehicle–traffic injury is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related death. Falls and gun violence are other leading causes of brain injury.
The majority of TBI incidents that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury. So what do you need to know to help prevent and treat brain injury? The best place to start is to understand concussions and the associated symptoms and treatments.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim for Brain Injury
If you’ve suffered a TBI as a result of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The effects of TBI can last a lifetime, so it is important that you find a personal injury attorney to represent you and to ensure your case is managed appropriately to get you the best results.
A lawyer can work with you to keep track of and manage medical records, obtain accident reports and information, and to help you understand how to document the effects of your brain injury on work and home life. An attorney can determine if there was any negligence that resulted in your injury, whether a settlement or trial is the best course of action and an attorney can help you file a lawsuit, if needed.
If you are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim, here are some additional resources to help you understand legal proceedings and how to find the right lawyer for your case.
- What To Expect In A Consultation With A Personal Injury Attorney
- Qualities To Look For In A Personal Injury Lawyer
- The Top 3 Things To Consider As You Select A Personal Injury Attorney
- Understanding A Personal Injury Case From Start to Finish
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even what may seem like a mild bump to the head could turn out to be serious. Signs and symptoms of concussion may not appear immediately after a hit to the head. In fact, some symptoms may not appear for days or weeks following head trauma.
- Most concussions occur without any loss of consciousness.
- If you’ve had one concussion, you have an increased risk for another concussion.
- Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover from concussions than adults.
What are Concussion Symptoms?
The symptoms for concussion can vary, but generally, here are the things you should look for:
- Headache or “pressure” in head.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Balance problems, dizziness, or blurry vision.
- Sensitivity to light or noise.
- Feeling sluggish, hazy or foggy.
- Confusion, concentration or memory problems.
- Individual can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
- Appears dazed or stunned.
- Loses consciousness (even briefly).
- Seems clumsy.
- Forgets instructions, or seems confused.
- Answers questions slowly.
- Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.
What is Second Impact Syndrome?
If you or a family member have had a concussion in the past, it is important that you understand ‘second impact syndrome’. This syndrome affects individuals who have not fully recovered from a head injury and sustain a second head injury. This second head injury can result in more significant brain injuries and neurological disabilities. This is why it is so important to fully recover from any head injury before engaging in activities or sports that can result in a second head injury.
How Can You Prevent TBI?
While accidents can occur at any time, there are simple steps you can take to try to prevent injuries. Take a look at a few suggestions to consider below for incidents with a high risk for TBI.
Head Injury Prevention on the Road:
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Use appropriate child safety seat or booster seat.
- Always wear a helmet on a motorcycle, bicycle or scooter.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Follow speed limit signs and other roadside safety signs.
- Practice safe, defensive driving.
Fall Prevention Methods for Children:
- Supervise young children on playground equipment or around fall hazards, like stairs.
- Look or safe play zones, with soft fall surfaces or areas free of hazards.
- Use home safety devices, like gates on stairways and locks on windows to prevent falls.
- Keep sports and recreational activities safe with a focus on good sportsmanship and fair play.
Fall Prevention Tips for Older Adults
- Use rails on stairways.
- Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in new places.
- During inclement weather, take caution of where you step to avoid falls.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Be sure you see your doctor annual for physical assessment and a vision screening.
- Talk to your doctor about adding a strength and mucsle conditioning program to help you improve balance and muscle strength to reduce the risk of falls.
- Make your home safer by removing obstacles in walking paths, cords from floors and hazardous furniture.
What to do After a Car Crash Head Injury?
Research suggests that even slow-speed car accidents can result in mild brain trauma. It is also important to recognize that mild brain trauma can have long-lasting medical implications, affecting memory, concentration and thinking abilities.
So please keep in mind, if you are involved in an auto accident, even a low-speed fender bender, you may have suffered a brain injury. If you feel immediate symptoms of concussion or other brain injury, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention to evaluate brain injury.
- Continue to actively monitor for and treat concussion-like symptoms.
- Limit activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration, as they can worsen concussion symptoms.
- Do not participate in any high-risk activities (sports, riding a bike, etc.)
- Get lots of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids and maintain a healthy diet to support injury recovery.
When it comes to car accidents, may brain injuries go unnoticed and are left untreated, which can result in future health complications. If you’ve been in any type of accident, our Milwaukee traumatic brain injury lawyers suggest that you seek medical treatment and evaluation.
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a number of accident types, including: (add internal links)
If you’ve been involved in a motor-vehicle accident, seek medical attention immediately to rule out brain injury and continually monitor your health for brain injury symptoms.
Submit a Free Case Evaluation Now
If you are looking for the right traumatic brain injury lawyer for you, consider filling out a free case evaluation and talking with a lawyer today. You’ll see the difference when you have the opportunity to talk directly with an expert.
At Murphy & Prachthauser, we practice the law the way it should be practiced – motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.
If you have an injury case you would like to speak to a lawyer about, please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get an experienced team working on your behalf.