A traumatic brain injury is classified as any disruption to the normal function of the brain. This can be caused by many things, but typically, it is caused by a sudden, hard blow to the head. Injuries like these are not something to take lightly as they can have serious symptoms and repercussions. Understanding the different types of traumatic brain injuries, how severe they are, and how an injury attorney can help you could save your life.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While filing a lawsuit might be the last thing on your mind when you or a loved one have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, it could be something that saves your life and gets you what you are rightfully owed. Before worrying about the legal side of any such injury, it is important to note the different types of brain injuries that are categorized as traumatic.
First, it is important to know that there are two main types of brain injuries: closed brain injuries that occur with no penetration or breaking of the skull and penetrating brain injuries (also called open head injuries) in which the skull is penetrated or broken.
Next, you should know that primary brain injury and secondary brain injury are two entirely different categories. Primary brain injury refers to sudden brain injury that is considered mostly complete at the time of impact. These most often occur in car accidents, gunshot wounds, or hard falls. Secondary brain injuries, however, change over a period of hours to days after the initial (primary) injury. These injuries often cause destruction to the brain tissue internally.
There are four main types of traumatic brain injuries including concussions, brain contusions, penetrative brain injuries, and anoxic brain injuries.
The Severity of Specific Brain Injuries
There are several types of specific brain injuries to be familiar with, but it is equally important to understand how severe these injuries can be.
A concussion is considered to be the most minor of traumatic brain injuries. It is typically caused by a sudden change in motion or movement, a sharp impact to the head, or shaking. Oftentimes, concussions are not visible through image testing, but they can turn severe quickly. This injury typically results in headaches, trouble concentrating, memory loss, and disorientation. If these injuries are sustained for a long period of time, or if a second one occurs before the first one has time to heal, it can become very dangerous.
Next, there are brain contusions, or bruises of the brain tissue. These injuries are caused by the breaking and leaking of small blood vessels. These bruises are very different from external bruises on the skin. When dealing with the brain, any leakage from blood vessels can cause serious issues and pressure buildup. With brain contusions, it is possible for the brain to take immediate damage underneath the impact location, on the opposite side of the brain. These injuries can range from minor to extremely severe depending on their symptoms. Symptoms include loss of consciousness, disorientation, fatigue, emotional distress, and irritability. They can also potentially cause brain swelling which would hinder the brain from receiving proper oxygen levels.
Penetrative brain injuries occur when something pierces the skull. Injuries like these cause the object, hair, skin, or bone fragments from the skull to come into contact with the brain. External forces strong enough to break through the skull include falling hard enough to crack the skull, car accidents in which something pierces the skull, gunshot wounds, and sports-related injuries. This type of traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death in this category of injury.
Lastly, there are anoxic brain injuries that occur when the brain does not receive enough oxygen to function properly. Typically, the brain can last four to five minutes without oxygen before brain cells begin to die. When this takes place, a brain injury will occur. The oxygen that is being carried to the brain by the blood will no longer flow properly, and an anoxic brain injury will occur because of the blockage. Causes of this type of traumatic brain injury include blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or serious trauma. In rare cases, this can also take place when the brain is receiving enough blood, but the blood is not properly oxygenated. Traumas such as poisoning, drowning, choking, suffocating, or any other event that prevents oxygen from entering the lungs correctly can cause anoxic shock or injury.
How an Injury Attorney Can Help You
Injury attorneys can do wonders for situations like these simply because they understand the severity of the situation. It is much more than stress and costly hospital bills. Oftentimes, traumatic brain injuries result in confusion, insomnia, new medications that could last a lifetime, and an uncertain future filled with neurological recovery plans. Not only can the right injury attorney help you to secure compensation for your injuries, they can also be a support system for you.
Your Right to Fight
Traumatic brain injuries can be a matter of life or death. With long and uncertain recovery plans in the near future, traumatic brain injury victims should not have to worry about hospital bills and hassling debt collectors. A credible injury attorney can not only help you cope with your new lifestyle challenges, but they can also take the legal worries right off of your shoulders. Trained brain injury attorneys can help you to get your life back on track.