Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow to the head or violent movement of the head. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of TBI. TBI is not necessarily accompanied by a loss of consciousness or a skull fracture, and in some cases the person affected may not be immediately aware that a brain injury has occurred.
TBI is classified as mild, moderate or severe based on the initial loss of consciousness and memory loss, but these classifications do not necessarily correlate with the expected impact on the person’s life. Mild TBI events are often called concussions, and they make up the majority of traumatic brain injuries.
Patients suffering from TBI often have trouble with motor control, sensory perception, balance and walking. They may also suffer from headaches and blurred vision or experience trouble speaking and swallowing. Memory impairments and trouble communicating are also common symptoms. Patients may also be affected by depression or mood swings.
Traumatic brain injuries can have many effects on patients’ lives. Some patients, particularly those who sustained mild injuries, eventually experience a full recovery, with symptoms gradually improving over time. A rehabilitation program is often needed. Other brain injuries result in permanent disability, and those patients may require lifelong care. There are an estimated 50,000 deaths per year in the United States from traumatic brain injury.
Whether someone sustained a mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, he or she may need extensive medical treatment and may experience significant pain and suffering. If the injury occurred as the result of negligence on the part of another person, then the injured person may be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit. It is estimated that between 50 and 75 percent of traumatic brain injuries occur as the result of a car accident. If the other driver was at fault, then a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate to compensate the injured person.