Traumatic Brain Injuries from Car Accidents in Washington DC and surrounding areas
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious injuries a victim can suffer in a Washington DC, car accident. If not caught in time, a TBI can be life-threatening. Even when diagnosed in a timely manner, the victim is likely to live with lifelong complications as a result of the injury.
A TBI occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes TBI as a “bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.”
A TBI may be mild, moderate or severe. A mild TBI occurs when there is a “brief change in mental status or consciousness,” according to the CDC. If you have ever been knocked unconscious because of a fall or blow to the head, it is likely that you suffered a mild TBI.
A severe TBI is further subdivided into either a penetrating or closed-head TBI. A penetrating TBI occurs when a foreign object actually punctures the skull and causes damage. A closed-head severe TBI happens when the brain moves within the skull and collides with the bone, causing brain damage. A closed-head TBI could occur in a car accident when a person’s head slams against the car’s structure or is jerked violently during the collision.
Traumatic brain injuries happen far more frequently than many people realize. Most estimates put the number of TBIs in the United States at between 1.5 and 2 million each year. In fact, someone dies and another person becomes permanently disabled every five minutes in the United States because of a TBI.
Statistics compiled by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association indicate that, of those who suffer a TBI, approximately 270,000 suffer a moderate-to-severe injury and 50,000 to 70,000 people die each year from a TBI. Of all of the injury-related deaths in the United States each year, 1 in 3 lists a TBI as a contributing factor.
TBI Symptoms & Treatment
Because the severity and type of TBI can vary considerably, not all victims of a TBI exhibit the same symptoms. Symptoms of a TBI frequently do not appear right after the accident that caused the head injury. For this reason, anyone who has been in a car accident should have a thorough examination immediately to check for signs of a TBI.
Some of the most common symptoms of a TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Sleep problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Mood changes
- Tired eyes
Before a TBI can be treated, it must be diagnosed. Frequently, this is done in an emergency room after an accident that involved a head injury. If a TBI is suspected, the first course of action is to prevent the injury from worsening. Despite amazing advances in the areas of science and medicine over the last century, a way to reverse brain damage once it has occurred has yet to be discovered. For this reason, stabilizing a head injury is crucial to preventing further damage to the victim. If the brain is beginning to swell, for example, emergency surgery may be required to slow or stop the swelling to prevent further brain damage.
Once a patient with a TBI has been stabilized, the focus shifts to different types of therapy. Occupational, speech and physical therapy, for instance, may help a TBI victim live a more independent and fulfilling life.
Someone who suffers a mild TBI may recover completely and live with very few long-term effects. Victims of a moderate-to-severe TBI, however, will be likely to face significant long-term problems associated with the injury. TBI often affects a victim’s senses and motor skills. A victim may exhibit changes in behavior and emotions for years after the personal injury. Memory loss is another common long-term effect of TBI.
Even a relatively minor TBI can be expensive to treat, while a victim who has suffered a serious traumatic brain injury can expect to spend over $4 million over the course of a lifetime on the medical bills associated with the care of the injury.
Get Help from a Washington DC TBI Lawyer Now
It is important to consult with an attorney regarding a traumatic brain injury. The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, can investigate the facts and determine your legal right to compensation. Contact us online today for a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case. You will not incur any attorney fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for your injuries or loss for you.