Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a large issue throughout the country, being a contributing factor to around 30 percent of all the death related injuries that occur here. They occur at a high rate, with around 1.7 million being suffered each year. These injuries affect one of the most crucial parts of the body and can lead to a number of ramifications. Catastrophic injuries can lead to immense damage that may influence the life of a victim long term. It is best to speak with a Long Island injury lawyer after an accident to start the process of finding just compensation. At our firm we can assess your case free of cost and better determine how much you are owed. We are also here to answer the questions you may have.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
TBIs, also known as intracranial injuries, involve some sort of damage occurring to the brain due to an external force. The damage can come in varying levels and injuries can be classified accordingly. An injury may be closed or penetrating the head. A closed injury may involve the head being hit forcefully or jolted and while the skull is not penetrated, the brain is still harmed. The skull can also be penetrated and the brain may be directly impacted. TBIs can be mild, moderate or severe. Around 75 percent of them are a mild injury. A severe TBI will be characterized by a loss of consciousness for over 24 hours, an 8 or lower for the Glasgow Coma Score, and post traumatic amnesia that remains for a week or longer. To determine recovery time, the extent of damage, health of patient, age of the patient, other injuries and the area of the brain should all be taken into account.
What are concussions?
Concussions are a common occurrence and they can be sustained in a number of ways. They are prevalent in sports, car accidents or from taking a fall. They come from a blow to the head that can cause a milder form of damage. The brain is shook and will crash into the skull. No direct damage to the brain takes place in these cases. Concussions are not always as obvious as some people may thing and they can have one without realizing it. Some symptoms will have trouble thinking clearly or remembering things, feel nauseous, have a change in sleep patterns or a change in their behavior. These injuries are generally a quick recovery but it is important to keep an eye on the injured person to make sure the issue is not more serious.
What causes TBIs?
The majority of TBIs are the result of a fall, accounting for around 35 percent as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These make up around 50 percent of all TBIs suffered by children between the ages of 0 to 14. For adults age 65 and above, falls are responsible for 61 percent of TBIs. Next, motor vehicles are the cause of 17.3 percent of TBIs and cause the most deaths from a brain injury. Being struck accounts for 16.5 and assaults are also a main factor, responsible for 10 percent. Members of the military can also suffer damage through the force of a blast while active.
The brain can be injured in a few ways. It may be a strong blow to the head that shakes the brain inside. It can also be a force that moves through the skull and actually pierces the brain. Different forces may be shear, angular, translational or rotational, depending on the intensity, direction, length and type of force. Many incidents can be the result of an accident that resulted from another person’s negligence.
Why are TBIs so serious?
The brain works with the spinal cord to control the functioning of the body. When injuries occur to it they can be temporary or permanent and due to the wide reach of the brain over the body, they can lead to any number of outcomes. An injured victim may deal with changes to their personality, a reduction in motor skills, limited physical abilities and psychological changes. TBIs are an injury that can be degenerative and many patients begin to notice a decline in their health as time passes, leaving them with further damage and greater expenses.
What types of issues come from sustaining a brain injury?
The outcome of a brain injury will depend on the level of severity. Mild injuries may lead to temporary effects that can be recovered from in a short period of time. The signs may begin to fade in hours or days from the time of the incident. In severe TBIs, the full effects may never be completely gone. Emotions, motor functions, cognitive functions and sensation can all be altered. Emotions can be greatly effected when a person that was formerly independent is reduced in their capabilities. They can become depressed, aggressive or socially insensitive. Some injured people suffer trouble communicating or understanding, and this can be frustrating when they lose the ability to express themselves. The memory can be altered and a loss of memory or reasoning abilities may be sustained. Sensations can be changed and victims may feel, smell and hear differently than before. Brain disorders can become more prevalent over time as well, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Who is most at risk for suffering a head injury?
While anyone can find themselves suffering an injury, there are certain settings and people groups that have a higher rate of risk. Children sustain a large portion of injuries, and newborns to four year olds account for around 18 percent of all injuries that require a trip to the emergency department. Adults that are 75 and older make up about 22 percent of the hospitalizations. Males also have a greater likeliness for an injury and they make up 59 percent of all injuries.
What may compensation be necessary for?
There are around 5.3 million individuals in the country that are currently living with a disability from a TBI. This can affect their lives in many ways, impacting their career, family life, independence, ability to carry out tasks and more. Moderate to severe injuries will require medical attention. Victims can deal with a high cost of medical bills, including the initial hospital bill and rehabilitative treatments. Many find themselves unable to work for a temporary or permanent period of time. This can result in a loss of income, leaving them in a financially more difficult position.
In addition to seeking medical aid for the recovery process, it is also to get the evaluation of a professional to better determine the extent of damage. They can help assess how long the injuries will last and how they will hinder the injured party. This can be necessary when considering the amount of compensation to seek. The liable party should be responsible for not just the current damages but the future ones as well. There are a number of expenses that can arise and these may warrant compensation. Often the best thing to do is to speak with an attorney who can determine if there is a case and an estimate of how much should be sought.