Of all the injuries that can arise from an accident, a severe brain injury is one of the worst. Falls are the number one cause of these severe injuries, and it might give you pause to think of all of the hazards we face on a daily basis here in Chicago.
From falling on ice during our windy winters to a bad car accident on the Dan Ryan, the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is all around us.
The CDC defines a TBI as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” TBIs are more prevalent in young children and older adults.
In this article, we will discuss the causes, effects, and diagnosis of a TBI injury, as well as how we may help those who have suffered this injury.
Common Causes of TBI
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by something as quick and dangerous as a high-speed car accident to something seemingly less harmful like a fall.
While knowing the common causes of this type of injury can help you to be cautious and possibly avoid it, the truth is that some things are just beyond our control.
That said, here is just a partial list of common causes of TBI injuries:
- Falling – most prevalent in older adults
- Car Accidents – caused as a result of the impacting force and speed of the incident
- Sports Injuries – high contact sports may cause a blow to the head
- Child Abuse – TBIs are most common in abused children under age 4
- Blow to the head – if you run into something, a moving part of a machine hits you, or you are attacked with a blunt object
- Explosions – as a result of injury in the line of duty or other incidents where you are thrown back into something as a result of an explosion
- Penetrating Injury – Such as being shot or stabbed
What commonly happens with a TBI injury is what is known as coup-countrecoup injuries.
Essentially that means that damage is caused at the point of impact. Because of the extent of the force, damage is also caused on the opposite side of the brain as the brain slams against the other side of your skull.
It is also important to note that most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of 2 years in Chicago. This means that you have to file your case against a negligent party within 2 years of the event occurring, or you forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Symptoms of a TBI
After a severe accident, you may be worried that you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Whether you end up at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, or one of Chicago’s many other hospitals, it’s important to seek proper medical attention to get the right care and diagnosis.
Below are some of the signs of a TBI:
- Loss of consciousness
- Disoriented feeling
- Headache or Migraines
- Blurred vision
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Feeling depressed
- Speech Problems
- Unusual sleep patterns
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Memory problems
- Mood changes
Even if you feel okay after an accident, it’s a good idea to go and get checked out regardless. Early detection is key when dealing with a traumatic brain injury so that problems can be diagnosed and symptoms treated as quickly as possible.
Sometimes symptoms lag and may appear later on and you may not realize it was from a traumatic brain injury.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Brain Injury?
There are a lot of different outcomes that can come from a traumatic brain injury.
These vary widely depending on the severity of the impact that caused the TBI as well as the frequency of the injury.
Long and short term memory loss, loss of expression or balance, communication and understanding issues, as well as depression, anxiety, and temperament changes are all possible results of traumatic brain injuries.
It is also important to note that brain injuries happening frequently over a period of time, even mild ones, can compound into a larger problem.
An example of this would be multiple concussions happening over time from a contact sport. This can lead to a condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), affecting how the brain functions, which can only be diagnosed after death.
How are You Diagnosed with a TBI?
Diagnosis usually involves a series of tests of your motor skills to see if your coordination and mental capacities have been affected.
The FDA states that some of these tests, “include a neurological exam. This exam includes an evaluation of thinking, motor function (movement), sensory function, coordination, and reflexes.”
The article also states that CT scans and MRIs won’t help to diagnose a TBI, but may be administered to see if any other life-threatening issues are arising.
There are also developing technologies, such as EyeBOX used here in Chicago at Rush University Medical Center, that can diagnose a concussion within minutes by analyzing eye movements and looking for movements that are congruent with having a concussion.
Is There a Difference Between Adult and Childhood Severe Brain Injury?
It is harder to diagnose young children or babies with a TBI, since they lack the proper communication skills to tell us what they are experiencing.
This makes it all the more important to watch for signs that a child may be experiencing a TBI after an accident.
Some of these signs may include:
- Eating or nursing changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Continuous crying
- Sleep habit changes
- Loss of interest in normal activities
How VanDerGinst Law Helps TBI Victims
At VanDerGinst Law, we are dedicated to helping the people of Chicago with TBIs or any other personal injuries you may have as a result of the negligence of another person or business.
Being a victim of an accident that has caused a traumatic brain injury can be devastating in and of itself, not to mention the financial burden unexpectedly placed on you via lost wages and medical bills.
It is important to have a personal injury attorney that has experience in dealing with TBI cases and will get you the compensation you deserve to help you recover and get back on your feet.
We invite you to call us at our Chicago offices for a free consultation.
We would be honored to help.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.