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Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. Traumatic brain injury is most often the result of an acute event or accident to the brain or skull. The top three causes of TBI are: vehicle crashes, firearms and falls.
Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year. 50,000 people die from TBI each year and 85,000 people suffer long term disabilities. In the U.S., more than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBI. TBI is categorized as mild or severe:
Mild TBI is defined as a loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation shorter than 30 minutes. The individual may exhibit cognitive problems such as headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings, irritability, and frustration. These injuries are commonly overlooked. Even though this type of TBI is called "mild", the effect on the family and the injured person can be devastating.
Severe TBI is associated with loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and memory loss after the injury or penetrating skull injury longer than 24 hours. The deficits range from impairment of higher level cognitive functions to comatose states. Survivors may have limited function of arms or legs, abnormal speech or language, loss of thinking ability or emotional problems.
TBI's resulting from outside trauma are further categorized as follows:
- Open Head Injury - involves penetration of the skull
- Closed Head Injury - No penetration to the skull, effects tend to be broad (diffuse)
- Deceleration Injuries (Diffuse Axonal Injury) - when the brain is slammed back and forth inside the skull
- Chemical / Toxic - when harmful chemicals damage the neurons
A TBI injury is different from a broken limb or punctured lung. Bodily injuries can typically be seen immediately and follow predictable recovery patterns, while brain injuries can linger or cause disability for very long periods of time. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sustained a TBI, it is important to contact an attorney promptly to discuss your treatment options. Don't wait to get help, contact LawyerNetwork.org to find the best attorneys in your area for TBI.