Traumatic Brain Injury
Maryville Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
Maryville traumatic brain injury attorneys helping TBI victims and their families
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) don’t just have an impact on the person who suffered the injury. The person’s entire family is impacted in various ways, too. In an instant, an entire family can be changed because of someone else’s actions.
If you have suffered a TBI due to an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, it is in your best interest to speak with the experienced Maryville traumatic brain injury attorneys from Shepherd & Long, P.C. about your case. We have decades of experience representing injury victims. We know how to protect your legal right to compensation because of the injuries you suffered.
What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs results from a blow to the head, or an injury that penetrates the skull and impacts the brain. This catastrophic injury can range between mild and severe. Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) are often called concussions, and they may resolve on their own in a shorter amount of time. The most severe TBIs can lead to paralysis and death.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), roughly 5.3 million Americans live with a disability that was caused by a TBI.
What are the common causes of TBI?
- Motor vehicle accidents. Per the AANS, between 50-70% of TBI cases are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The impact of being hit by another vehicle can cause a driver or passenger to hit his or her head into the window, head rest, dashboard, or steering column. Victims can also sustain TBIs by the force of the air bags, or from an object that penetrates the glass. Pedestrians and motorcycle riders may be at greater risk of TBI, even if they are wearing helmets.
- Slips, trips, and falls. Falls are the other leading cause of brain injuries. Hitting your head on the pavement or on an object like a desk can lead to a TBI; so can falling off a ladder. Falls are also among some of the most common workplace injuries.
- Falling objects. People who are hit with falling objects in grocery stores or on worksites can suffer head and brain injuries.
- Sports and games. Sports account for 21% of TBIs in children and adolescents, according to the AANS. Contact sports, like football and soccer, are often seen as the “bogeyman” when it comes to TBI, but any types of sports or games can lead to a head injury. Horseback riding is actually a far more common cause of TBI than other types of sports, and children can suffer brain injuries when they run into objects while playing.
- Birth injuries. Babies can suffer TBI during the delivery process, often when the doctor or nurse has to use forceps to manipulate the head.
- Medical malpractice. Oxygen deprivation can lead to a traumatic brain injury, as can surgical errors.
What are the symptoms of TBI?
The thing about traumatic brain injuries is that the symptoms can vary from person to person. In some cases, victims will experience pain, confusion, and other blatant signs of trauma. In other cases, the symptoms may be delayed, or my fail to present at all. According to the Mayo Clinic, TBI symptoms fall into three categories, and may vary based on severity:
- Loss of consciousness
- Dizziness, coordination, and balance problems
- Speech difficulties
- Dilated pupils
- Seizures and/or convulsions
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weakness or tingling
- Blurred vision
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Loss of sense of smell
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Changes in personality
- Inappropriate emotional responses
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Breathing problems
- Slow pulse
- A rise in blood pressure
- Difficulty swallowing
- Droopy eyelid or facial weakness
- Loss of bowel control or bladder control
The warning signs of TBI in children
Children are not immune to suffering from TBI, but they may lack the ability to describe what is wrong or what they’re feeling. This is why it’s important to know the warning signs of TBI in children, especially since some of them might look like “normal” behavior in most kids. Those signs include:
- Constantly crying
- Loss of interest in playing
- Issues with sleeping
- Inability to pay attention
- Changes in nursing or eating habits
Per AANS, in children 14 and younger, TBI accounts for an estimated 2,680 deaths, 435,000 emergency room trips, and 37,000 hospitalizations each year.
How do doctors determine if you have a TBI?
TBI is determined by medical professionals by running a series of diagnostic tests.
- Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which measures the patient’s ability to open their eyes, move, and speak. The level of severity of the TBI is based on the score. If the score is low, the severity is high.
- Imaging tests, which include CT scans, MRIs, and intracranial pressure monitoring.
- Cognition tests, which include testing the ability of the patient to solve problems, think, process information, and examine their memory.
- Neuropsychological tests, which monitor the patient’s brain-behavior, cognitive behavior, and sensory-motor processing.
- Speech and language tests, where pathologists will monitor the patient’s grammar usage, muscle control, the ability to read, the ability to swallow, and how they communicate socially.
What are surgical lesions?
A term often used by doctors when discussing TBI is surgical lesion. A surgical lesion is a localized injury that can cause pressure in the brain. The most common types of lesions related to TBIs are contusions and hematomas.
A contusion occurs when there is bruising of the brain tissue. A hematoma is a blood clot on the surface of the brain or within the brain. These can occur anywhere in the brain. Victims of TBIs can also suffer intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), which is bleeding within the brain tissue. A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs when bleeding enters the subarachnoid space of the brain.
How is TBI treated?
In many of these cases, the victim will be rushed from the emergency room to the operating room in an effort to surgically remove a contusion or hematoma that is putting pressure on the brain. Once the surgery is complete the patient will be monitored for an extended period in the ICU.
Surgery is not always immediate. Some patients will first be sent to the ICU to be monitored. Surgery may only be needed if the patient’s symptoms worsen or if their test results return with any changes. For example, if an MRI or CT scan shows a hematoma that has grown or if a lesion has grown over the past few days, then surgery may be necessary.
There is no known medication that can help prevent damage to the nerves or assist with nerves healing following the injury. Neurological damage can be worsened if the following occurs:
- Body temperature increases
- Blood oxygenation decreases
- Blood glucose increases
- Intracranial pressure (ICP) increases
How an experienced Maryville injury attorney can help
All injuries to the head or brain should be dealt with immediately. Delaying the proper medical attention can only exacerbate the severity of the TBI. Our personal injury attorneys will consult with medical professionals who will help develop the proper treatment method for you as well as a diagnostic course of action.
Once we understand the full extent of your loved one’s injuries, we can determine what the financial costs and burdens of those injuries will be. You could be entitled to damages for:
- Medical expenses, including treatments, rehabilitation, and the costs associated with long-term care
- Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages if the injuries were the result of gross negligence
Contact an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney in Maryville for a free consultation
The minute you suspect a family member has suffered a TBI you should seek medical attention. Delaying medical attention can lead to serious medical complications that could have been avoided. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation with Shepherd & Long, P.C., call 865-982-8060 or fill out our contact form.