Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Texas brain injury lawyer serving clients nationwide and throughout Texas The ability to think, move around and function is easily taken for granted. We do not give a second thought to our brain, that magical control center of the central nervous system, sending signals and communications to all areas of the body, monitoring movement and coordination along with the function of whole bodily systems. While a thick skull insulates the soft brain from most injuries, injury still can and does occur. Severe brain damage is one of the most catastrophic types of injuries, dramatically reducing a person’s quality of life and the lives of their loved ones. At Bush Lewis, our brain injury lawyers have deep compassion for the hardships that brain injury victims and their families endure. Despite the fact that we have no ability to restore their health directly, what we can do through our legal skills is work diligently to lessen their economic plight by properly researching, documenting and presenting their losses in our efforts to hold responsible parties accountable. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to properly fill this important role for TBI victims.
What is TBI?Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is brain damage that results from a blow, penetration or impact to the head or through extreme shaking motions that jar the brain, causing its soft tissue to crush against the hard skull. Brain tissue may bleed, bruise or tear during a forceful incident. The most serious traumatic brain injuries result in long-term comas, unconsciousness, seizures, and swelling from hemorrhaging, which builds up pressure and can be fatal absent prompt and proper diagnosis and treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injury SymptomsSymptoms vary depending on the injury severity. Some traumatic brain injuries seem relatively minor and do not result in permanent disabilities, such as a concussion causing temporary loss of consciousness, headache and brief memory loss. By comparison, a serious concussion may cause long periods of unconsciousness, chronic pain and extended or permanent amnesia. In general, those suffering injury and their families need to be aware of symptoms so they can recognize the possibility of TBI and seek immediate treatment. Common mild TBI symptoms include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Vision problems
- Memory loss
- Sleep disruption
- Emotional upset
- Extra sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of smell
- Mood shifts
- Disorientation or confusion
- Dullness or slow thought process
- Vision problems: blurriness, depth perception distortion, eye muscle weakness, double vision, partial or total vision loss, and light hypersensitivity
- Hearing impairment: ringing, hypersensitivity to sounds, decreased hearing, or deafness
- Lost or reduced sense of smell and taste
- Sensory difficulties: trouble interpreting touch, movement, heat and cold, limb positioning, etc.
- Language difficulties: slurred speech, lack of language comprehension, trouble speaking or being understood, and problems reading and writing
- Cognitive troubles: scattered attention, poor concentration, memory loss, confusion, poor judgment, trouble switching tasks, difficulty translating thoughts into actions, and slowed thinking
- Seizures: loss of consciousness and muscular spasms
- Bodily disruptions: constant pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, paralysis, altered appetite, sleep disorder, lack of strength or endurance, low or high body temperatures, and reduced sex drive
- Emotional imbalances: depression, aggressive behavior, irritability, heightened dependence, lack of social awareness, and loss of motivation
Traumatic Brain Injury StatisticsAccording to the Franklin Institute, every 15 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, an estimated one million people receive hospital emergency room treatment every year and out of those 50,000 die and 80,000 become permanently disabled by TBI.
Common Causes of Brain InjuryA blow to the head, violent shaking, sudden acceleration and deceleration, jolt from a collision, sharp object penetration, electrical shock, near drowning, lack of oxygen, a gunshot wound, an anesthetic error, improper medication, or anything that could affect brain function can cause brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the common causes for TBI are:
- Falls (35.2%)
- Motor vehicle accidents (17.3%)
- Struck by/against events (16.5)
- Assaults (10%)
TBI DiagnosisHealthcare professionals often use imaging technologies such as MRI, CAT, SPECT, and PET scans to locate brain damage when sufficient symptoms justify such testing. Neurological examinations and cognitive evaluations in combination with neuropsychological testing can confirm TBI, even when brain imaging technologies reveal no visible physical damage. Diagnosis may also involve using specialists such as physical, speech and occupational therapists to administer tests that measure the extent of disability resulting from brain injury.
Treatments for Brain DamageTreatment varies depending on the individual cases. Initially, upon entering a hospital, if the situation is life-threatening a trauma surgeon works with a team to resuscitate, stabilize and monitor the victim’s vital functions. The doctor may order surgery to relieve hemorrhaging in the brain, lessen pressure from brain swelling, remove infection or extract bone fragments if the skull was fractured. Acute treatment seeks to reduce the possibility of further complications. During acute treatment sometimes doctors must continue to provide life support, such as mechanical ventilation for breathing, or continue taking measures to reduce head pressure. Surgeons often place a device in the brain cavity to monitor and stabilize intracranial pressure. They may use medications to sedate or induce a coma if necessary to reduce seizure or agitation. Surgeons may have to drain the skull of fluids to reduce pressure from bleeding, repair blood vessels or tissue to maintain circulation, or even remove a completely damaged segment of the brain to preserve life in surrounding living tissue.
RehabilitationRehabilitation specialists are often necessary in particular therapy areas, such as—
- Speech therapists who work to help restore language capabilities
- Physical therapists who work with muscles and movement capabilities
- Occupational therapists who help patients re-develop daily skills for eating, grooming, toilet activities, dressing, and other functions
The Difference Legal Help Can MakeOur traumatic brain injury lawyers at Bush Lewis have decades of experience investigating injury causes, legal responsibilities and options, and estimating the medical costs for treatment, rehabilitation, and other expenses, as well as quantifying the value of the non-economic but severe personal losses sustained in traumatic brain injury cases. Call Ken Lewis or any of the other Bush Lewis lawyers today at 409-835-3521, or email us. We represent clients in brain injury cases throughout Texas and nationwide.
Know This Before An Accident
No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.