A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury caused by a blow to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States, about 1.7 million people sustain a TBI, which is a leading cause of disability and death among Americans aged 16 to 45.
Individuals with a TBI and their families may be seriously impacted by the injury´s outcome. A traumatic brain injury can result in long-lasting or even permanent changes in a person´s thinking, emotions, language, sensation, and physical capacity.
The Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The CDC recently reported that the major causes of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Falls (35.2%)
- Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%)
- "Struck by/against" events (16.5%)
- Assaults (10%)
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are also now known as the "signature injury" among American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of TBIs in personal and societal terms is staggering - according to the CDC, more than five million Americans (about 2% of the population) are living with a lifelong or very long-term need for assistance in performing basic activities of daily life after having suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Although traumatic brain injuries are immediately fatal, other TBIs can leave the afflicted person in a coma, a vulnerable medical condition, or with severe long-term disabilities. TBIs can cause epilepsy and increase the risk for developing disorders such as Parkinson´s disease, Alzheimer´s, and other conditions that are more common among elderly people.
The Symptoms and Signs of a TBI
The brain is a very complex organ, and neurologists admit that much is not yet known about how the brain functions normally, let alone when it is damaged. With traumatic brain injuries, the symptoms and signs of the injury can be missed or may not appear for days or weeks after the injury. The symptoms and signs of a TBI include:
- Headaches or neck pain that doesn´t go away
- Nausea, or the urge to vomit
- Dizziness, loss of balance, lightheadedness
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, distractions
- Blurred vision, or eyes that get tired easily
- Getting lost, being easily confused
- Mood changes (e.g., feeling sad or angry for no reason)
- Changes in sleep patterns (oversleeping or trouble sleeping)
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Feeling tired all the time, having no motivation or energy
- Slowness in thinking, reading, speaking, and/or acting
Long-Term Damage and Costs
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may already know those medical bills, rehabilitation costs, long-term care, loss of income and earning capacity, and the loss of the person you once knew can be overwhelming. The Kuvara Law Firm 1-800-4-INJURY can help you - contact our attorneys today to set up a private consultation and discuss your options. Our offices are located in San Jose, San Rafael, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Fairfield, Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Redwood City, and Newark.