Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have gotten a lot of attention publicly lately, due to issues that athletes and other public figures have suffered. But did you know that sports are actually a fairly uncommon way to get a TBI, and that falls and motor vehicle accidents are the more likely sources? Falls make up 40.5 percent of TBI and motor vehicle accidents make up 14.3 percent.
With 2 million cases of TBI known each year in the U.S., that means that 286,000 are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The numbers could be even higher, because much of the time brain injuries sometimes take more time to show up.
Open vs. closed brain injury
The distinction between closed and open brain injuries is simple: an open TBI happens when the brain is injured by something that goes through the skull. Closed means the brain was injured, but not by something outside of the head – usually a bump or a blow to the skull. The closed TBI is much more common than open.
A closed TBI usually occurs when a person’s head hits a dashboard, steering wheel, windshield or another hard surface in the car. And even a slower-speed car accident can cause considerable damage to the brain, causing mild brain trauma. These can cause long-term damage that affects cognitive abilities like thinking or memory.
Symptoms of a TBI
Again, not every TBI is going to have symptoms that show up right away. It may take time, or an injured person may not notice some of the emotional changes that can occur. Symptoms include:
- Passing out/loss of consciousness
- Headache with nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to loud sounds or bright light
- Mood swings or changes, like depression, anxiety or irritability
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleep pattern
- Blurry vision
- Pupils not equally dilated
- Ringing in the ears
Due to the potentially life-changing nature of serious brain injuries, it’s important to pursue fair compensation for your injuries with an experienced lawyer. Talk to an attorney who has years of experience helping injured people, and is familiar with all brain injuries. You may even be able to recoup your financial losses without going to court.