After a brain injury, victims often experience devastating impacts. Even in the absence of permanent brain damage or disability, victims may still suffer long term effects after a brain injury. Many individuals must reestablish how they think, act, and process their emotions. Often, victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) require extensive rehabilitation to relearn how to perform basic daily tasks. If you are currently struggling with the aftermath of a brain injury then speak to an experienced California brain injury attorney to discuss your recovery options.
TBI can render even the most capable and independent adult entirely reliant on others. According to the Brain Trauma Foundation, more than 80,000 individuals suffer permanent disability after sustaining TBI each year. Every decade nearly 100,000 Americans suffer the debilitating consequences of others’ reckless behavior.
The Brain Trauma Foundation also reports:
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Traumatic brain injuries cause a sudden disruption to a victim’s normal brain function. Traumatic brain injuries typically result from a sudden and forceful blow, jolt, or bump to the head. Head injuries that involve the penetration of an object through the skull may also cause TBIs. The extent and severity of a brain injury will vary widely from one victim to the next. Traumatic brain injuries are particularly dangerous because they are inherently unpredictable. A wide range of possible symptoms and effects may encompass many physical and psychological changes.
Traumatic brain injury typically affects one of six major areas of the human brain responsible for functioning. The six areas are classified as the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes; the cerebellum; and the brainstem. Each area is responsible for controlling the function of a different part of the human body. The location of a brain injury and the affected lobes will dictate the effects experienced by the victim.
The frontal lobe is the brain that controls crucial cognitive skills. Problem-solving, emotional expression, memory, sexual behaviors, judgments, and language are regulated by the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is often referred to as the “control panel” for the human personality. In addition, voluntary movements and our sequencing abilities require frontal lobe brain function.
Damage to the frontal lobe can potentially have devastating impacts on a victim’s ability to communicate or regulate their behavior. Victims suffering from TBI involving frontal lobe damage may have difficulties with decision-making. Frontal lobe damage may impair your ability to make good choices and recognize consequences. Some victims may experience irritability, mood swings, and an inability to concentrate. Others may exhibit overtly sexual behaviors and struggle with verbal communication.
The temporal lobe processes sound and houses the language and speech comprehension systems. Our short-term memory capabilities also originate in this lobe. The processes of facial recognition and object categorization depend heavily on a fully-functioning temporal lobe. When the temporal lobe is damaged, victims may find it difficult to understand spoken words. Victims may also behave more aggressively and begin to talk in excess.
Our parietal lobe is important for the function and integration of sensory information. Essential for the performance of physical movement, the parietal lobe provides us with an understanding of spatial orientation and body awareness. The parietal lobe allows us to comprehend the location of physical pain and control the movement of our limbs. Object naming, hand-eye coordination, and visual attention capabilities are all functions of the parietal lobe.
If an individual’s parietal lobe is injured or damaged, they may suffer a range of symptoms. Perhaps, victims may struggle to name objects, understand what the objects they touch feel like, or differentiate left from their right. Commonly, victims experience impaired hand-eye coordination.
The occipital lobe is often referred to as the brain’s visual processing center. The primary role of the occipital lobe is to process and interpret everything we see. However, controlling visual functions is not the occipital lobe’s only purpose. Researchers discovered that the occipital lobe receives input from various regions of the brain and areas of the body. While we do not fully understand the extent of functioning, evidence suggests the occipital lobe plays a role in functioning beyond visual processing.
Occipital lobe damage typically leads to impaired visual capabilities. Visual deficits may include distorted vision or difficulty identifying colors. Some victims experience visual hallucinations or suffer from “word blindness” or difficulty processing the movement of objects around them.
The cerebellum controls how we choose to use our bodies and how our bodies grow. To reach out and lift something off of a shelf, our cerebellums allow us to extend our arm and grip the object. The cerebellum controls our ability to balance and hold ourselves upright.
Generally, when the cerebellum is damaged, TBI victims experience a decrease in motor movement coordination. Some may have difficulty judging distances or performing quick, alternating movements. Staggering, tremors, and other inconsistent body movements are also common.
Our brainstems receive vital signals from our bodies alerting us to eat, drink, rest, or perform other biological functions. The brainstem facilitates basic life processes like breathing, the ability to suck and swallow, and blood circulation. A newborn’s limited functioning, for example, comes almost entirely from the brainstem.
Brain stem injuries pose a direct threat to human life. Imagine the motherboard of your computer experiencing damages that render it inoperable. Similarly, brainstem injuries can have catastrophic impacts on a victim’s functioning and wellbeing. Brainstem injuries do not always result in death, but the effects can be devastating. Damage to the brainstem may cause:
Did you know that some symptoms of TBI may fail to appear for weeks after the initial injury? It is important to closely monitor individuals who have suffered head injuries. In some cases, signs of TBI will be immediately apparent. However, victims who completely lack symptoms may still have severe brain damage. Watch for symptoms to develop over time.
Keep in mind that this list does not encompass every potential symptom of TBI. Symptoms may be generally characterized depending on the severity of the injury. However, just as every human brain is different, every brain injury will manifest uniquely. If you suspect that you may have sustained a brain injury, seek professional medical treatment.
Symptoms may include:
Parents should know that children are members of a population at increased risk of TBI. In fact, TBI is the leading cause of both death and disability in children. Medical experts have determined distinct differences between pediatric and adult TBI. Unfortunately, these differences render TBI much more dangerous for children than adults. Some of the factors that contribute to these differences include:
Age-related factors can make it exceedingly difficult to detect, diagnose, and treat TBI in children of any age. Parents and pediatric care providers must observe children carefully if they believe that they have sustained a brain injury. Many potential symptoms depend heavily on a child’s age and cognitive ability. The most notable symptoms often persist despite age or ability.
Signs of TBI in children may involve:
Children who have experienced head injuries must be monitored closely for symptoms like these. If your child sustained a head injury and begins to present the above behaviors, contact a medical care provider immediately.
Victims of traumatic brain injury may recover damages through the legal process. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for:
Brain injuries forever change the way that victims live their lives. Even those who are lucky enough to escape drastic consequences like paralyzation or loss of behavioral control often suffer significantly.
If you or a loved one have experienced TBI due to the negligence of another, you deserve legal support. The process of pursuing compensation can be lengthy and difficult; you don’t need to fight alone.
If you or a loved one have undergone the life-altering experience of a brain injury, call us at (866) 395-6792 or contact us online today. Our offices offer clients 24/7 support and FREE case evaluations.
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