If you or a family member or friend has sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of an automobile accident or a slip and fall, trying to understand your legal options can be a very difficult task. Simply understanding the challenges they may face while trying to live with this new condition is in itself incredibly difficult.
Over half of all reported traumatic brain injuries are the result of an automobile accident. In 2006, a study was done at the Atlanta National Center for Injury Prevention and Control regarding the correlation between auto accident and traumatic brain injuries. This study showed that out of the roughly 1.4 million people involved in auto accidents annually, 280,000 people in the U.S. suffer from a motor vehicle induced traumatic brain injury each and every year. In fact 20% of all brain injuries result from motor vehicle accidents!
So what causes a brain injury? We know that the human brain does not fit tightly inside our skulls. When a person’s head hits a solid object like the steering wheel, headrest or window, or is violently thrown forward and backwards, trauma to the brain can occur. The sheer force of the crash can cause the brain to collide against the interior of the skull, which can cause the brain to bleed causing added pressure on the brain.
The injury to the brain can range of mild to severe.
The following are some of the more prevalent symptoms of a brain injury:
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe headaches
- Extreme tiredness
- Loss of taste or smell
- Memory loss
- Mood and personality changes
- Loss of cognitive abilities
- Foggy thinking
- Memory issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Occasional dizziness
The Brain Injury Association of America adopted the following definition of TBI that has since been enacted as a statutory definition for legal purposes by several states:
Traumatic brain injury is an insult to the brain, not of a degenerative or congenital nature but caused by an external physical force, that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness, which results in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. These impairments may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial or total functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment.
If you or someone you love have any of the above symptoms after being injured they need immediate professional help. Often times even their own family doctor will dismiss these symptoms as just a bad headache, telling them it will just take time to feel better. If you feel this applies to you or someone you know and you just don’t know what to do, or where to begin, please call our offices and for a free consultation.