The effects of traumatic brain injury following a Colorado car accident are often life-changing.
Of all the injuries that can be sustained as a result of a car accident, brain injuries are among the most serious. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a chief cause of death and incapacity in the U.S., according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although the brain is protected from most types of damage because of its position inside the skull, brain injuries still happen; approximately 1.7 million TBI-related ER visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occur each year in the U.S.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A TBI involves brain damage resulting from some sort of head trauma, such as a fall, sports accident or auto accident. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be traveling at a high velocity or strike a particularly hard object to sustain a TBI; any kind of trauma to the head or neck can cause the brain to bruise, bleed, swell, or tear.
There are two types of traumatic brain injuries:
- Open, in which the skull has been fractured due to direct contact with a hard surface or object.
- Closed, which doesn’t include a break, but can be serious because of potential brain swelling and blood clots forming inside the skull.
Both open and closed head injuries can result in unconsciousness, memory loss, personality changes, depression, and death.
TBI Warning Signs
TBIs are often not diagnosed immediately following a motor vehicle accident, and it can be difficult to know whether or not one exists. But there are several warning signs to look for:
- Inability to remember recent happenings
- Severe headache
- Weakness or numbness limited to one side of the body
A TBI is considered mild if the resulting loss of consciousness, confusion, and disorientation is limited to under 30 minutes, as opposed to severe brain injury, which is associated with loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and memory loss lasting longer than 24 hours. Mild TBIs are commonly called concussions.
While a person with mild TBI might experience cognitive issues, memory problems, inattention, and mood fluctuations, a survivor of severe brain injury may have limited limb function, abnormal speech or language patterns, an inability to concentrate, a host of emotional problems, and could even be left in an indefinite unresponsive state.
Recovering From Severe Personal Injury
Brain injuries do not heal like other types of injuries, and no two are alike. Symptoms might appear right away or may not manifest for days or even weeks following the injury. One of the most serious consequences of TBIs is that the injured person often does not realize that an injury has even occurred.
Although there has been noteworthy advancement in TBI treatment and care, the effects of TBI remain significant. Patients with mild TBI often suffer life-changing consequences, and for those with severe TBI, continuing rehabilitation is critical to improving function.
If you or someone you love sustained a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident, contact Daniel R. Rosen, an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney, to discuss your legal options today.