A brain injury may be the worst injury a person can suffer. Severe forms of brain injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, can result in permanent neurobiological and structural damage that can produce lifelong deficits in a variety of fields, including one’s cognition, speech and language, sensory perception, psychological health, and everyday functioning. But even milder forms of brain injury, such as a concussion, can cause substantial difficulties or impairments that can last a lifetime.
If you suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, please give us a call at (619) 237-3490. Our San Diego brain injury attorneys have the experience you need to win your case and help guide you through the process. We are committed to helping ordinary people get fair and just compensation for the injuries they suffer, and you are no different than many of our past clients.
With developing news of soldiers returning from war with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD, as well as NFL players suffering repeated concussions and post-death chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), attention paid to certain head injuries is at an all-time high. But outside the more publicized forms in the military and the NFL exists head injuries that occur in more common events, such as car accidents, falls, or other types of contact to the head. Unfortunately, these kinds of head injuries often go untreated, and leave the brain very susceptible to additional and amplified injury.
In 2010, about 2.5 million people in the United States went to emergency room, were hospitalized, or died as a result of a traumatic brain injury. The subsets of the 2.5 million reflect a 70% increase in emergency room visits, an 11% increase in hospitalizations, and a 7% increase in deaths over the past decade.
While one may attribute the increase to better diagnosis of head injuries and raised concern of treating them, one could also conclude the increase shows that head injuries are becoming more common and serious in degree.
This concern is well reflected in the rates of head injuries in children age 19 or younger playing sports or other recreational activities, in which over 248,000 suffered head injuries in 2010. This is a 57% increase from the rates in the past decade.
But the year-to-year numbers don’t reflect the number of Americans forced to live with the lasting effects of head injuries for the rest of their lives. Well over 5.3 million people in the United States live with disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injury. Many of those people will not regain the functioning they used to have, and will have to cope with persistent headaches, hazy vision, seizures, degenerative neurological disease, mental disorders, or cognitive loss. These people need significant medical care and effective representation to obtain the care for the rest of their lives.
Brain injuries fall into two overarching groups:
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
• Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force alters the function or pathology of the brain. This causes the brain to move within the skull, stretching and tearing vital parts of the brain in the process. Examples of traumatic brain injuries include diffuse axonal injury, concussion, secondary impact syndrome, coup-contrecoup injury, and penetrating head injury.
Traumatic brain injuries result from serious trauma to the head or brain, including events such as:
Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries are extremely serious as they directly affect the central processing unit for our ability to function. There are many ways they can occur:
A diffuse axonal injury occurs when the unmoving brain lags behind the movement of the skull, causing brain structures to stretch and tear. These often occur in car accidents or other high-impact events. This is one of the most serious forms of brain injury, as extensive tearing of nerve tissue in the brain disrupts the brain’s regular communication and chemical processes, leading to widespread brain damage, coma, or death. A diffuse axonal injury can also result in secondary injury as well, causing unaffected brain cells to die in a cascading chemical process from the impact site in the brain.
Concussions are a common form of traumatic brain injury where the brain bounces against the skull and bleeds due to impact, sudden momentum, or movement change. Concussions mimic lesser forms of diffuse axonal injuries, in that the blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may become damaged. They can be caused by direct blows to the head, gunshot wounds, violent shaking of the head, or force from a whiplash-like injury. Because it may take a few months to a few years for a concussion to heal, those who suffer a concussion must be unaware of the possibility of secondary injury.
A coup-contrecoup injury results when the brain bounces back and forth in the skull, causing bleeding at the impact site and on the complete opposite side of the brain. This often occurs with those who suffer severe whiplash.
Second Impact Syndrome, also known as a secondary injury, occurs when a person sustains a second traumatic brain injury before the symptoms of the first traumatic brain injury have healed. The second injury may occur from days to weeks following the first, and is more likely to cause brain swelling and widespread damage.
Penetrating head injuries occur from the impact of a bullet, knife, or other sharp object that forces hair, skin, and bone and fragments from the object into the brain. This is an extremely serious injury that many, unfortunately, don’t survive.
A locked-in injury is a neurological condition where a person, as a result of a head injury, cannot physical move any part of the body except the eyes. While the person is conscious and able to think, he or she is temporarily paralyzed due to the sudden impact on the brain.
Whether a person suffers a diffuse axonal injury or a mild concussion, any head injury can have serious and potentially lasting effects on one’s overall functioning. Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries should seek medical care as soon as possible, especially to reduce the possibility of a secondary injury.
An acquired brain injury, on the other hand, is any non-traumatic brain injury that has occurred after birth. These type of brain injuries occur at the cellular level within the brain, and therefore can affect cells throughout the entire brain. Examples include stroke, near-drowning, neurotoxins, hypoxic (brain receives insufficient oxygen) or anoxic brain injury (brain receives no oxygen), tumor, or electrical shock.
Common causes of acquired brain injury include:
Please seek medical care immediately and call our firm. Our goal is to efficiently recover the compensation needed for your past and future medical costs and noneconomic losses, and improve the quality of your life. Our attorneys and staff are committed to making sure that you and your family taken care of in every way possible, and help guide you through the process.
We offer free consultations and take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis. That means there is no cost you to retain our services, and you only pay if we win your case. Please call us anytime to find out how Gomez Trial Attorneys can help answer the questions you have.
In addition to winning brain damage compensation for you and your family, our goal is to improve the quality of life for our clients who have sustained a brain injury. The attorneys at the Gomez Law Firm can help ensure that your family is taken care in every way possible. Consultation is free and there is no out of pocket expense to you if we take your case. You pay nothing unless we win. Call us today to find out how our San Diego brain injury attorneys can help you.
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