Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is commonly sustained in auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and others that result in an impact to the head. There are many different types of TBI, with concussion being the most common. Even this mild form of the injury can result in lasting and lifelong impairment.
Other types of TBI that can be sustained in an accident include:
- Contusion. A bruise on the brain, contusion can occur on just one side of the brain, typically at the impact site, or on both in cases where the impact is significant enough to jar the brain against the opposite side of the skull.
- Diffuse Axonal. A tearing of brain tissue resulting from shaking or rotational forces that cause the skull to move too fast for the brain. Because the brain is stationary, when forceful shaking or rotation causes the skull to move too quickly, nerves and brain structure can be torn apart.
- Penetration. Most often caused by bullet wounds, penetration may also be caused by fragments – including skull fragments – projected during an accident. Penetration of brain tissue causes irreversible damage and often results in death.
According to the CDC, approximately 2.5 million people visit the emergency room for TBI yearly. Of those, nearly 300,000 are admitted to the hospital following emergency treatment, and most of those are related to unintentional falls and motor vehicle accidents. It is important to note that even in cases where hospital admission does not occur, injury to the brain can and often does produce a lifetime of struggle for its victims.
Long-Term Impacts of Brain Injury
Emergency treatment is often incredibly helpful following brain injury. While the brain has mechanisms that allow for self-repair, medical assistance has shown to be remarkably effective at reducing long-term damage. However, some parts of the brain cannot be repaired – even through medical intervention – and will progressively degenerate. This is how TBI is able to have lifelong consequences.
Long-term cognitive and emotional effects of traumatic brain injury may include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulties concentrating
- Inability to manage time appropriately
- Irritability and aggression
- Depression and anxiety
TBI is also linked to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In addition to cognitive and emotional consequences, TBI can have a profound impact on physical ability as well. Common physical issues surrounding brain injury include:
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Loss of motor skills
- Hearing loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Vision difficulties or loss
- Increased sensitivity to light and noise
- Increased risk of death
Seizures and post-traumatic epilepsy may also result from TBI. Both of these can lead to further damage to the brain and may create additional risks for injury elsewhere in the body as well.
The Cost of TBI
The lifetime cost of treatment for TBI can range from $85,000 to $3 million, depending on the severity. It is important to note that this cost is for treatment alone. It does not take into account additional factors such as:
- Loss of wages due to an inability to work
- Home modifications or adaptive technology required to function
Nor does it take into account the emotional and physical suffering experienced by many victims of TBI and, because insurance settlements focus almost exclusively on medical costs, it is unlikely that any offer from insurance will take these things into account either.
Victims of TBI deserve real compensation that takes into account the costs of treatment along with all related damages – even those that are not as easy to calculate. This is why it always makes sense to discuss your case with an experienced and qualified brain injury lawyer before accepting an offer from insurance.
The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Brown & Brown are here to assess your claim and help you understand your rights. Working on a contingency basis, we provide all legal representation free of cost to victims of TBI – and take viable cases as far as needed to help people facing the lifelong consequences of this injury get the justice they deserve. If you are faced with the overwhelming costs, emotional and physical damages, and related consequences of TBI, give us a call for a complimentary consultation and let us help you determine the most effective way forward.
We maintain two offices in the Greater St. Louis area but can come to you if your injury makes travel difficult. Call our St. Louis office at 314-333-3333 or our Fairview Heights office at 618-888-8888 to schedule your free consultation today.