Though there are not always obvious indications of a closed head injury, it is important that victims of suspected traumatic brain injury receive medical care. Anyone involved in a motor vehicle collision, fall, or similar incident may sustain a traumatic brain injury that only qualified medical personnel can diagnose. Closed head injuries can include concussions and traumatic brain injuries in which there is no puncture or visible wound. Many traumatic brain injuries are the fault of someone other than the victim, and the victim or his or her family may be able to receive compensation under the law.
There are more than 1 million people in the U.S. who suffer from head injuries. The leading causes of head and brain injuries are auto and trucking accidents.
There are several categories of brain injuries:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): The Brain Injury Association of America defines TBI as a jolt or blow to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts will result in TBI.
About 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer a TBI each year; 50,000 of those people die and 235,000 are hospitalized. Here is a rough breakdown of the leading causes of TBI:
- 28% from falls
- 20% from motor vehicle crashes
- 19% from accidental collisions with objects
- 11% from assaults
Anoxic brain injuries: This type of brain injury occurs when the brain does not have sufficient oxygen for a significant amount of time. This happens in cases of choking, drowning or other respiratory system complications. A sustained lack of oxygen will cause brain cells to die.
Other Examples of Brain and Head Injuries
Concussions: A concussion occurs when the brain is bruised from a hit to the cranium. This leads to headaches, dizziness, vomiting and problems with memory.
Skull fracture: A skull fracture occurs when there is a break in the bone surrounding the brain.
Subdural hematoma: A subdural hematoma results when blood builds up between the brain tissues and the dura. It may require surgery.
Diffuse axonal injury: A diffuse axonal injury results when the disruption of the brain inside the skull severs the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers or axons. This can result in a coma or permanent disability.
Epidural hematoma: An epidural hematoma can occur when blood builds up between the skull and top lining of the brain (dura). This may also require surgery.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about half of severely injured patients with head injuries will need surgery to remove or repair hematomas or contusions. Hematomas are ruptured blood vessels; contusions are bruised brain tissues.
The most common problems associated with head injuries, based upon the severity and location, are problems with:
- Personality changes
Brain and head injuries may not be apparent immediately after they occur. You don’t have to be knocked unconscious to suffer a brain injury. If you are in an accident such as a motor vehicle, fall or other incident in which your head is affected, you want to seek immediate medical attention.
Contact a Georgia Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has experienced serious head or brain injury as a result of someone’s intentional act or negligent act, contact the Georgia brain injury attorneys at Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC to see how they can help protect your legal interests.