Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injuries
Concussion injuries or mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s), are the most frequent brain injury in traumatic accidents. Common causes of a concussion include car or motorcycle crashes, falls, sports injuries, and assaults.
Did you know that your brain has the consistency of gelatin. It’s cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps but a violent blow to your head and neck or upper body can cause your brain to slide back and forth forcefully and that how you get a concussion or TBI.
Some of our nation’s experts on concussions or TBI’s:
The Mayfield clinic describes Traumatic brain injury (TBI) as sudden damage to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Injuries can range from mild concussions to severe permanent brain damage.”
According to the CDC, falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52% and 20%, respectively). These personal injuries are devasting to the victims and their families alike! The time and care required to recover can range from days to years and it is important not to allow pressure to settle with insurers or others until you are certain recovery is absolute.
Approximately 1.5 to 2 million adults and children suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States. Most people who experience a head injury, about 1.1 million, will have a mild injury that does not require admission to the hospital. Another 235,000 individuals will be hospitalized with a moderate to severe head injury, and approximately 50,000 will die.
“Those who survive a concussion or brain injury can face lasting effects in their physical and mental abilities as well as emotions and personality. Most people who suffer moderate to severe concussions will need rehabilitation to recover and relearn skills.”
During the impact of an accident, the brain crashes back and forth inside the skull causing bruising, bleeding, and tearing of nerve fibers. Immediately after the accident the person may show signs of concussion-like being confused, not remember what happened, have blurry vision and dizziness, or lose consciousness. At first, the person may appear fine, but their condition can decline rapidly. After the initial impact occurs, the brain undergoes a delayed trauma – it swells – pushing itself against the skull and reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood. This is called secondary injury, which is often more damaging than the primary injury.
Although described as individual injuries, a person who has suffered a TBI is more likely to have a combination of injuries, each of which may have a different level of severity. This makes answering questions like “what part of the brain is hurt?” difficult, as more than one area is usually involved.”
“Not all head injuries are the same. Patients recover at different rates and to varying degrees. It is difficult to determine at what point a patient will start understanding and interacting with their caregivers or family in a meaningful way. It is important to have patience; recovery from a brain injury can take weeks, months, or even years.
Tips to reduce the risk for a head injury:
- Always wear your helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, or all-terrain vehicle.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Always wear your seat belt and ensure that children are secured in the appropriate child safety seats.
- Avoid falls in the home by keeping unsecured items off the floor, installing safety features such as non-slip mats in the bathtub, handrails on stairways, and keeping items off of stairs.
- Avoid falls by exercising to increase strength, balance, and coordination.
- Store firearms in a locked cabinet with bullets in a separate location.
- Wear protective headgear while playing sports.
According to the CDC, Those who survive a TBI or concussion can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impairments related to thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but also can have lasting effects on families and communities.
So how do you know if you have a concussion?
The signs of a concussion or symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not show up immediately. When they do, however, the symptoms can last for days, weeks, or even longer. These injuries are hidden from the naked eye, so it is important if you have had a jolt that you seek an exam as soon as possible afterward.
Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury include headaches, loss of memory (amnesia), or confusion. Amnesia usually involves forgetting the event that caused the concussion.
Mayo Clinic suggests that some of the physical symptoms or signs of a concussion are:
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
Other signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
A witness may observe these signs and symptoms in the concussed person:
- Temporary loss of consciousness (though this doesn’t always occur)
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Dazed appearance
- Forgetfulness, such as repeatedly asking the same question
You may have some symptoms of concussions immediately, and some can occur for days after the injury, such as:
- Concentration and memory complaints
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychological adjustment problems and depression
- Disorders of taste and smell
What does having a concussion have to do with Lawyers?
Brain injuries are nothing to take lightly. Therefore, you should find an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible if you think that you or someone you know might be suffering from a traumatic brain injury. An experienced attorney will be able to recommend the right medical specialists to ensure your injury is accurately diagnosed and treated.
Sudden blows or violent shaking of the head, caused by events like a car accident, can cause brain injury that affects brain function. You can’t see inside your head and your brain needs you to take proactive steps if you have been an accident to ensure your wellbeing!
This type of brain injury may lead to bleeding in or around your brain, causing symptoms such as prolonged drowsiness and confusion. These symptoms may develop immediately or later. In drastic cases they can be fatal. That’s why anyone who experiences a brain injury needs monitoring in the hours afterward and emergency care immediately.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States.
In 2014, an average of 155 people in the United States died each day from injuries that include a TBI.
Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives. These issues not only affect individuals but also can have lasting effects on families and communities.
If you or a loved one are a victim that has incurred one of these devasting injuries through no fault of your own, you will face financial demands that arise because of that unfortunate injury and you are entitled to compensation to assist with that burden.
Navigating the system to get fair compensation is daunting when things are not stressful, in these situations it is pronounced. This is where our professional team can step in and make sure that you get what you need while you focus on recovering and restructuring your life to meet the demands of your family.
Shuman Legal has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 20,000 injury victims and their families. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery. Call for a free consultation to see how we can support you.
Illinois State and Regulatory Agencies:
- Illinois Department of Public Health: (800) 252-4343
- The Joint Commission: (800) 994-6610
- Illinois Foundation for Quality Health Care (for Medicare patients): (800) 647-8089
Illinois Brain Injury FAQ