Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is as serious as it sounds.
TBI occurs when a blow to the head disrupts the normal brain function, often affecting a victim’s cognitive abilities. This type of injury can cause immediate, long-lasting effects, including confusion, difficulty learning, trouble speaking coherently, and problems with vision and hearing. A TBI may also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia in the future.
The Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A variety of different types of accidents can cause traumatic brain injury. Some of the most common include:
Slip and fall accidents. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries for victims of all ages, but elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable. When adults older than 75 sustain a fall-related TBI, they are more likely to suffer long-term consequences and fatalities. These types of accidents often occur due to unsafe walking conditions, such as slipper floors, icy sidewalks, and broken stairs.
Auto accidents. Auto accidents involving motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are a second common cause of TBIs. These types of accidents often occur due to dangerous road conditions, distracted or drunk driving, and malfunctioning vehicles.
Sports accidents. Accidents suffered in contact sports such as football, rugby, and hockey are a common cause of TBIs, particularly among youth. The likelihood of experiencing traumatic brain injury after a sports accident increases when the victim is not wearing a helmet or appropriate protective gear.
Violence. As much as 20 percent of TBIs are caused by a violence-related incident, such as domestic violence or child abuse.
The Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can be particularly dangerous because oftentimes symptoms do not materialize for days or weeks after a traumatic event. Below, we’ve listed some common symptoms that can occur within minutes, days, or weeks of the incident.
- Loss of consciousness
- A feeling of being dizzy, disoriented, or confused
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive sleeping
- Loss of balance
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Strange mouth taste
- Changes in sense of smell
- Unusually high sensitivity to sound or light
- Problems concentrating or remembering things
- Mood swings
- Feelings of depression or anxiousness
What to Do If You Think You May Have a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you have recently suffered a blow to a head in a fall, auto crash, sports accident, or other type of accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not think the injury is that serious, it’s important to secure prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis if you want to avoid the potential for life-altering consequences in the long term. Only a doctor will be able to assess your health accurately and determine whether you have suffered a TBI.
After seeking medical attention, your next step should be to consult with an attorney with experience in traumatic brain injury claims. Your attorney will listen to your situation with compassion before explaining your options. If your traumatic brain injury was the result of another’s negligence, you may be able to hold the guilty party accountable. Your lawyer can assist you in filing your claim, and defend your right to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.