Traumatic Brain Injury Causes and Symptoms
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a devastating and life-changing injury that results from trauma to the head. Traumatic brain injuries may not be diagnosed immediately after an accident and may not develop after every head injury, but when they occur, they are typically considered catastrophic injuries because they can impact cognitive function, personality and memory.
If you have suffered from a head injury and your doctor has diagnosed you with a TBI, the stakes are very high. You may be unable to work, and may need ongoing medical care. In some cases, the care you need may last a lifetime. If someone else has caused you to suffer this type of personal injury, you need a Houston TBI lawyer who has experience with serious injury cases and who can represent you in taking action against the person who hurt you.
Information on Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a TBI in the U.S. each year. TBIs have become so common that the CDC has labeled them a “serious public health problem” in the U.S.
Unfortunately, one of the things that make TBIs so dangerous is the difficulty in assessing how serious a head wound is. Traumatic brain injuries can range from a concussion to a lifelong and severe neurological disorder, and, in some cases, it can be hard to diagnose just how extensive the damage to the brain is. A person may believe he or she is fine, yet may have internal bruising or bleeding in the brain that can cause serious consequences, including death. An individual with a traumatic brain injury can also seem as if he or she has a simple concussion, but the concussion symptoms may take a long time to go away.
Because any type of injury to the brain can be dangerous, it is very important to get medical attention right away when you suffer head trauma. The extent of damage to your brain and the likelihood of developing a TBI will vary, depending upon how hard you were hit in the head; whether the skull was penetrated and how deep the penetration went; what part of your brain was affected; how well your body heals; and how quickly you get medical help.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can occur when you suffer a penetrating head injury or a closed-head injury. A penetrating injury occurs if an object penetrates the skull and directly damages the brain. A closed-head injury, on the other hand, occurs if you bump, hit or jolt your head hard enough that the brain is bruised or injured.
There are many different types of accidents that can cause you to suffer either a penetrating or closed head injury, but the CDC has a listing of the most common TBI causes in the U.S. These include:
- Falls — Falls cause 35.2 percent of all TBI cases and are the most common cause of TBIs in the U.S. Falls are even more likely to be the cause of TBI in children and the elderly, causing 50 percent of cases among children age 15 and under and 61 percent of cases among adults age 65 and older.
- Car accidents — 17.3 percent of all U.S. TBI cases are caused by car accidents. Car wrecks are the second most common TBI cause for all age groups and are the No. 1 cause of deaths related to TBI, responsible for 31.8 percent of TBI fatalities.
- Striking/being struck by objects — 16.5 percent of TBI cases are caused by getting hit on the head or hitting your head on something.
- Assaults — 10 percent of U.S. traumatic brain injury cases are caused by violent assaults involving blows to the head.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The effects of a traumatic brain injury can vary significantly from person to person. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, however, some of the symptoms of a TBI can include:
- Spinal fluid coming out of your nose or ears
- Losing consciousness, even briefly
- Dilated pupils or pupils of unequal size
- Changes to vision
- Dizziness or difficulty balancing
- Respiratory problems
- Slowed pulse or breathing rate
- Ringing in your ears
- Hearing problems
- Cognitive difficulty (problems thinking straight)
- Mood swings, irritability or inappropriate emotions
- Difficulty speaking correctly or clearly
- Numbness or tingling in the body
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
Costs of Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to Caregiver.org, traumatic brain injuries are responsible an estimated $48.3 billion in direct and indirect costs in the United States each year. The costs for even a single case of TBI can be crippling to family members. For example:
- A person with severe TBI may spend $4 million or more on lifetime care.
- A more mild case of TBI may cost around $151,587 in medical care, vocational rehabilitation and home modifications.
- For survivors who need rehabilitation services, average costs for medical and long-term care reached $196,460.
- Average costs for brain injury fatalities total $454,717.
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you should not have to cope with these costs alone. Contact a Houston personal injury lawyer to get help making a claim against the person responsible for the injury.
Contact Houston TBI Lawyer Kevin Krist Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury in southeast Texas, including Houston, Harris County, Pasadena, Katy, Baytown, Sugar Land, Conroe and League City, contact Kevin Krist today for a free consultation about your case.
Simply call the Law Office of Kevin Krist at 713-284-1660 or use the firm’s online form. Let Kevin Krist tell you how he can put his personal, proven experience to work for you and your family. Kevin Krist represents personal injury victims on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees unless he recovers compensation on your claim.