Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common in car, truck, and motorcycle collisions, slip and fall incidents, and other types of personal injury accidents. Although every brain injury is unique, many cause devastating changes to a victim’s abilities and quality of life.
In both Missouri and Kansas, a person who suffers a brain injury due to another party’s negligence is entitled to past and future compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Personal Injury Accidents
TBIs are caused by a jolt or blunt force to the head or an object penetrating the skull and brain—common experiences in all types of motor vehicle, slip and fall, and other accidents. A person can suffer catastrophic changes to their concentration, memory, mobility, vision, hearing, and other vital functions after a brain injury. Even simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove after using it or taking care of daily personal needs can be extremely challenging.
How the injury happened, its severity, and what area in the brain was damaged all play a part in determining eventual complications and a victim's long-term treatments.
There are many types of traumatic brain injuries, but here are the top five often experienced in personal injury accidents.
A concussion is the most common type of TBI. It can be caused by blunt force to the head, violent shaking of the head, gunshot wounds, and a whiplash-type injury. The symptoms can be mild to serious and cause long-term damage. The danger of permanent damage is higher when a person suffers more than one concussion over time.
A concussion often cannot be seen on a diagnostic test, such as a CAT scan. Common symptoms include:
- Problems with vision
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
- Lack of balance and coordination
A brain contusion is caused by an impact to the head. It's bruising of brain tissue caused by small blood vessels breaking in the area of injury. Like concussions, a contusion can range in severity from minor to catastrophic. If it doesn't heal on its own, a contusion might develop into a hematoma, which is a more serious brain bleed that can be fatal, and require surgical removal.
Contusion damage to the brain depends on its size, location, and how long it lasts. In severe cases, it can cause loss of consciousness, confusion, fatigue, and brain swelling.
A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when there's a forceful blow to an individual’s head that causes the brain to move and smash into the other side of the skull. This injury affects both sides of the brain, which can make the damage and symptoms more complicated and result in long-term limitations in their ability to work and take care of daily needs.
Diffuse axonal brain injuries happen in similar circumstances as concussions but are far more critical. There's significant tearing of nerve tissue, which disrupts the chemical processes and communication in the brain. Depending on the extent of the tearing, a person can suffer a wide range of permanent disabilities, coma, or death.
Skull Fracture and Penetrating Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can also be caused by fragments of the skull fracturing and objects penetrating the skull and brain. Damage might occur in a small area of the brain or be much more widespread. In addition to suffering brain damage, a victim with a fracture or penetration injury may be more likely to experience seizures and to develop epilepsy. Prompt medical treatment is crucial to remove the object and stop brain bleeding—another cause of additional complications.
How to Ensure the Compensation You Deserve for Brain Injuries
If you or a family member experienced a TBI due to someone’s negligence, you may need long-term expensive medical care and be unable to return to work for a lengthy period of time—if you can return to work at all. For complete health and financial recovery, it's essential to seek counsel with an attorney who has experience with brain injury cases to protect your legal rights.
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