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Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common, and serious, types of accidents we see after an accident or incident that results in a personal injury. Not only can they be extremely devastating to a person’s everyday life, but they can create costly medical bills and lost income from missed time at work.

Traumatic brain injury can occur during many different types of accidents, such as a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, slip and fall, or nursing home abuse. Additionally, medical malpractice may also make an existing traumatic brain injury worse.

After being injured in a personal injury accident, you may be faced with an ever growing number of damages like high medical bills and lost wages. Filing a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party that caused your injuries is the best way to recover the damages associated with your traumatic brain injury.

A Phoenix personal injury attorney that is experienced in negotiating and trying brain injury claims can help you to pursue the compensation you and your family so desperately need in order to be made whole again.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (or TBI) occurs when the head is struck with a great force, such as a blow or jolt to the head. It can also be caused when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain tissue.

There are many different types of traumatic brain injuries, that range from mild to severe. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, many different types of treatments may be required, all which will create some type of medical bills and lost wages.

Some may need only minor treatment (like initial diagnostic procedures, some medications, minor rehabilitation therapy, and bed rest). However, others may require more intensive treatment (like many different types of surgery, multiple types of long-term rehabilitative therapies, extensive hospital stays, and a plethora of medications).

Common Types of TBIs From Personal Injury Incidents

Although any type of brain injury can occur because of a personal injury incident, some of the most common are concussion, post-concussion syndrome, contusions, coup-contrecoup injury, diffuse axonal injury, penetrating injury, and hematoma.

Concussion

A concussion is one of the more minor types of traumatic brain injury. A concussion is a type of brain that is caused by a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head. A concussion can occur with or without loss of consciousness and can lead to temporary cognitive symptoms.

If you’ve suffered from multiple concussions in your life, getting a concussion again can make the situation much more serious, especially if those concussions happen with only a short amount of time between them. This is known as repetitive brain injury syndrome.

If you suffer a concussion, you may have trouble recalling events prior or directly after the accident occurred. You may be confused, dazed, and experience other symptoms like blurry vision. You may not remember things well, and you might answer questions and perform tasks slower than usual. Concussions can also cause a change in mood, personality, and behavior.

Physical symptoms of a concussion can range from headache or pressure in the head, to being sensitive to bright lights and loud noises, feeling dizzy, and feeling nauseous.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome (or persistent post-concussion syndrome) occurs when concussion symptoms last for longer than with a typical concussion. With post-concussion syndrome, it’s possible to have concussion-like symptoms for weeks to months after your injury occurred.

With a standard concussion, most symptoms will begin to go away after 7-10 days. If you have post-concussion syndrome, you may experience headaches, dizziness, sleep problems, and other related symptoms for weeks or even months.

As you can imagine, debilitating symptoms that are this persistent can easily rack up the medical bills and cost a person thousands of dollars in lost wages.

Contusion

Contusions, which are defined as blood or bleeding under the skin, can occur on any part of the body, not just the brain. However, a brain contusion occurs when there is physical damage to the brain tissue, which causes bleeding and swelling on the brain.

Unlike concussions, contusions actually damage the brain tissue. They are often much more serious, and generally require emergency surgery to address the problem right away.

Contusions are almost always accompanied by a loss of consciousness. The impact to the head causes bleeding on the brain, breaking the tissue, and causing the brain to swell. Victims of brain contusions may never regain certain abilities, functions or memories. They may also struggle with attention span, seizures, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and a myriad of other symptoms and struggles.

Coup-Contrecoup Injury

A coup injury occurs in the brain directly near the point of impact. A contrecoup injury occurs on the opposite side of the brain from where the impact occurred. Like a contusion, a coup and contrecoup injury are a type of traumatic brain injury that results in the bruising of the brain. The three different types of brain injuries discussed here are based on where the head is struck: coup, contrecoup, and coup-contrecoup.

Coup brain injuries cause injury right below where the head was struck.

Contrecoup brain injuries affect the brain on the opposite side of the strike. This occurs when the brain is struck so hard that it strikes the opposite side of the skull.

Coup-contrecoup injuries are the most severe, causing damage at both the point of impact and on the opposite side of the brain from the point of impact.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse axonal injury or DAI is a form of TBI that occurs when the brain shifts during an injury. When the brain moves around inside the skull, the connecting fibers in the brain (axons) are cut or strained. DAI is one of the more common types of TBI caused by slip and falls and motor vehicle accidents, and will often leave those who suffer from it in a coma or with severe disabilities.

People who have a diffuse axonal injury will experience disorientation and confusion, loss of consciousness, fatigue, vomiting, loss of balance, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. DAI can be severe, often leaving people in a vegetative state or causing death. Minor DAIs can be rehabilitated, but often still leave sufferers with serious, lifelong disabilities and a major amount of medical bills and other damages.

Penetrating Injury

A penetrating traumatic brain injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull. This can occur during a slip and fall accident or motor vehicle accident. A penetrating injury can cause heavy bleeding from the head, bleeding from the ears, and bleeding on the brain. It may also cause a sufferer to have trouble breathing, seizures, difficulty moving, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and loss of feeling in the limbs.

Surgery may be required to remove any pieces of the skull that are fractured, remove any foreign objects, relieve pressure from the brain, or to drain the blood from the skull. These injuries are very serious and require immediate surgery and rehabilitation. Naturally, this can have very serious, lifelong consequences for the patient.

Hematoma or Blood Clot

A hematoma occurs when there’s a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. These can occur anywhere in the body, but are common in head injuries. An intracranial hematoma occurs when blood collects inside of the skull. Surgery is usually required to relieve pressure from the brain to prevent further damage or death.

Victims of accidents that have intracranial hematomas may experience headache, dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and loss of movement. The more blood that fills up in the brain, the more likely one is to experience loss of consciousness, seizures, and lethargy.

A blood clot can occur if the blood in the brain isn’t drained quickly, causing the blood to block critical veins. Blood clots are a serious complication of intracranial hematomas and can be life-threatening.

What to do if You Suffer a TBI Due to Negligence

If you suffered a TBI due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced brain injury attorney to help you seek compensation, negotiate a proper settlement, and represent you throughout the litigation process if necessary.

Depending on how your accident occurred, there may be multiple parties to deal with and insurance companies that are trying to low-ball your settlement. Hiring a personal injury attorney that has the resources, experience, and reputation for handling brain injuries can help to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to relieve yourself of debt and to rebuild your life as much as possible.

Contact an Experienced Phoenix TBI Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident, like a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or nursing home abuse, contact our talented attorneys at Abels and Annes. Our attorneys have years of experience working on brain injury cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve.

For more information, please contact us online, by using the chat feature below, or by calling us toll free at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191.

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