Traumatic brain injuries are a catch-all term that can apply to an injury that was either confined to one part of the brain or spread throughout. As one of the leading causes of death and disability in adults, understanding how the words are applied can help everyone involved sort out fact from fiction.
In addition, if the brain injury occurred due to a preventable accident, a brain injury lawyer in Houston, TX can determine fault so their clients can get the compensation they deserve. We’ll look at what types of TBI there are, how they’re caused, and what the right legal defense can help you recover.
Different Types of TBI
TBIs are typically classified as follows:
- Closed brain: In a closed-brain injury, there is no break to the skull. The actual injury is caused by a fast forward and backward movement, which inevitably causes the brain to ricochet off the bones of the skull. You’ll see this in car accidents if a person is hit with enough force from behind. However, it can also occur if a person falls or is involved in a high-impact collision in sports.
- Penetrating: Penetrating brain injuries are accidents with enough force to break the skull. A brain injury lawyer in Houston, TX might see this in the case of an extremely severe fall.
- Diffuse axonal: This type of TBI occurs when there are tears in the nerve fibers of the brain. These changes are tiny and often only visible if you look at the damage through a CT or MRI scan. For as small as these injuries are, though, they can cause some extremely severe consequences (e.g., comas, etc.)
Primary Vs. Secondary
The brain is the center of the body, and any injury to it can have far-reaching consequences on the rest of our organs, tissues, and cells. If you hear the term primary injury, it refers to the one that occurred due to an accident or illness.
With a primary injury, the brain was relatively intact before the event. The secondary injury refers to any changes that occur after the primary injury. These secondary injuries can happen long after the injury occurred, which is why it’s important to know what the risks are for each type of injury. A TBI that seems mild now may not always stay that way.
Causes of Head Injuries
A brain injury lawyer in Houston, TX can tell you that there are numerous causes of brain injury in both children and adults. As you might expect, most injuries are proportionate to the damage caused. For instance, a relatively minor car crash might result in little more than a mild concussion. More severe trauma, such as bullet wounds or exceptionally violent falls, can result in much more severe TBIs.
Impact and TBIs
It’s important to remember that the size of the accident doesn’t always equate to a singular type of injury. What looks like a very small accident from the outside can severely damage the brain if the impact occurs in a highly specific way.
When there is a direct blow to the head, the internal tissues and blood vessels in the brain are compromised. The overall bruising that occurs from the trauma can be significant. Brains that are significantly jarred can tear the interior lining that separates the brain from the skull or swelling of the brain.
Symptoms and Consequences of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries often result in both cognitive and motor deficits. People might have difficulty relating to other people, remembering simple facts, or solving everyday problems. They may experience paralysis, tightened muscles, decreased awareness, or poor balance.
With a TBI, the list of symptoms is as long as it is varied. Again, because the brain does so much for the rest of the body, the injury can manifest in everything from mild confusion for a week or two to long-term epilepsy.
TBIs and Comas
A TBI can cause a person to go into a coma for a period of time. This can occur when a person is in a deep state of unconsciousness, so powerful that nothing will get them to respond to external stimuli.
The word coma can also refer to people who are in a state of reduced consciousness, meaning the person can move and respond. A brain injury lawyer in Houston, TX can tell you more about how comas are measured. Also known as the Glasgow coma scale, the ratings from 3 to 15 are a score of how aware a person is (e.g., eye movements, speech patterns, etc.).
Healing after a Brain Injury
How a person heals after a brain injury can vary drastically from person to person. The general rule, though, is that brain cells cannot regrow after they’ve been damaged. Those who stand the best chance of a full recovery are usually young people. For this population, it seems that other parts of the brain overcompensate for the injured parts. It doesn’t always occur, but the brain can learn to essentially process information differently so the person can function as they did before.
Doctors can have a difficult time predicting the course of a person’s recovery, simply due to the complexity of the brain. Some people may just need a few months before they’re back to normal (so to speak). Yet there isn’t enough consistency in brain injury victims to use a person’s vitals to definitively say one way or the other how the treatment will go.
How a Brain Lawyer in Houston Can Help after a TBI
TBIs can cause anything from anxiety to cognitive deficiencies. It can result in lifelong trips to doctors, destroyed careers, and separation from loved ones. Some consequences, like the strain on relationships with loved ones, can’t always be helped. Other consequences, such as the costs of doctor’s bills, can be recouped with the help of the right lawyer.
A good legal defense will figure out not just how the TBI affects you today, but how it’s likely to affect you for years down the line. In many cases, this is literally the only way you’ll stand a chance of getting anywhere near the financial package you’ll need.
Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, the goal is to get you a compensation package that will cover both the direct and indirect costs of the injury. By contacting us, you take the first step to securing enough resources to support you from now on.