Brain injuries fall into two categories, acquired brain injuries (ABIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). ABIs occur when someone loses oxygen to the brain or suffers from a stroke. TBIs are caused by serious blows to the head and commonly occur in slip and fall accidents and car accidents. Brain injuries can be mild, severe, and the effects can be short-term or lifelong.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are 1.7 million TBI cases in this country each year and 5.3 million victims have disabilities caused by their TBI. It is estimated that 50 to 70 percent of TBIs are caused by automobile accidents.
Contusions, Hematomas, Hemorrhages
A TBI can cause a localized injury or a mass lesion, which causes increased pressure in the brain. The first type is cerebral contusion, this is when brain tissues become bruised, most often occurring at the base of the front parts of the brain. Hematomas are blood clots that can be anywhere on the brain’s surface or inside of it.
There are also two kinds of brain hemorrhages or bleeds from ruptured blood vessels. Intracerebral hemorrhages are in the brain tissues and can be symptomatic of other brain injuries. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are bleeds spread over the brain’s surface; this can cause hydrocephalus, which is when fluid accumulates in the brain and the head becomes enlarged.
Skull Fractures, Diffuse Injuries
Non-invasive skull fractures may not require treatment unless the underlying tissue is damaged. If the fracture is to at the base of the skull, it can cause nerve and artery damage. Fractures that extend into the sinuses or into bone can press on the brain and may require surgery.
Diffuse injuries can be more complex since they can lead to microscopic changes that are not detectable on CT scans. Patients can experience a gradual loss of function that can lead to a severe disability. A common type of diffuse injury is ischemia, this is when there is insufficient blood supply to the brain.
TBI Symptoms and Treatment
Brain injury symptoms are not always immediately present after accidents and can worsen with time. They can adversely impact the victim’s physical, emotional, and intellectual health. Common symptoms include seizures, the inability to process information, impaired organ functions, and affected movement and muscle functions. Others may experience sleep disturbance, difficulty with speech, aggression, depression, and personality changes, paralysis, numbness, and coma.
Depending on the type of injury, immediate or later surgery may be required. There is no miracle cure for TBIs, and medical treatment usually focuses on preventing secondary injuries to the brain; methods include monitor use, like oxygen sensors, and other tools to manage intracranial pressure.
The TBI mortality rate is 30 per 100,000, which translates to 50,000 deaths in the United States each year; half of the victims die within the first two hours after their injuries. Brain injury deaths make up 34 of all traumatic deaths, and TBI victims that are 60 years old or older have an increased risk of death after injury.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help All Car Accident Victims and Their Families
If you have a TBI that was caused by a car accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your injury. Our compassionate Virginia Beach car accident lawyers will evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible for compensation. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we advocate for all injured car accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.