A traumatic brain injury is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It can vary from mild to severe, and affect not only your brain but other parts of your body. Your memory may be affected, your personality can change, sensations such as touch or smell are dulled, and your movement can be significantly restricted. The third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries is being hit suddenly in a car accident.
Car accidents account for 487,900 traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations a year. Unfortunately, 9,656 individuals die due to traumatic brain injuries that cannot be treated or were not treated promptly. These numbers include children, the elderly, and young, healthy adults.
A traumatic brain injury is not something to leave untreated. If you have been a victim of a car accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury reach out to us at Carpenter Law Firm for help navigating your medical treatment and securing the settlement you deserve to help provide for the costs of your treatment and your pain and suffering.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury is an injury suffered from a bump, jolt, or blow to the head that results in significant alteration to brain functioning. As described earlier, the injury can range from a mild form to one that is more severe. Typically, when a traumatic brain injury occurs, the individual may lose consciousness. The longer the individual is unconscious, the more severe the damage may be.
If an individual does not lose consciousness, they could complain about feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Traumatic brain injuries are not to be taken lightly; if you or another party are in a car accident and anyone sustains a jolt or blow to the head, it is vital to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Areas of the Brain Affected by Traumatic Brain Injuries
Since traumatic brain injuries vary in degrees, there are different types that the medical profession has designated different types, or categories, of brain injuries. First, it is important to understand the different areas of the brain:
- Frontal Lobe: Controls logic and reasoning, helps with short term memory and movement
- Occipital Lobe: Allows you to make sense of an object and store it in memory
- Parietal Lobe: Controls the ability to touch, taste, feel, hear, and smell and make sense of the sensation
- Temporal Lobe: Ability to hear different sounds and to organize speech.
Two other parts of the brain are commonly injured and very important to functioning:
- Cerebellum: This is at the base of the skull and helps control the muscles in your body
- Prefrontal Cortex: This is at the front of the skull, perhaps one of the most important parts of the brain, it conducts many functions such as logic, reason, impulse control, decision making, and emotional regulation.
It is imperative to understand these different areas of the brain to properly address treatment and for the injured party to understand what they may experience. Next, we discuss the different types of brain injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Carpenter Law Offices are highly educated in all aspects of traumatic brain injury because representing a client with this condition requires expertise.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
When one or more of the areas of the brain discussed above are damaged, there are a variety of different conditions the victim may be diagnosed with. The different brain trauma categories are based on type (what area of the brain is injured) and level (the severity of the injury). The following are the most common traumatic brain injuries sustained during a car accident:
- Contusion: This is when an individual’s head is thrust into an object during the impact of the car accident and causes bleeding in the brain. It affects movement, speech, emotional regulation, attention, and memory loss
- Concussion: This is very common in car accidents when an injured party suffers whiplash. This is categorized as a violent shaking of the head and can cause seizures, vomiting, nausea, and movement. For more severe cases, a concussion can last for months and sometimes years, causing emotional distress, confusion, and concentration issues.
- Diffuse Axonal: This occurs when there is severe shaking of the brain and the brain swells, and lesions may appear. Lesions can result in a coma and/or unconsciousness. This is very serious and can result in death.
- Coup-contrecoup: This occurs when the brain bounces off the back of the skull and then hits the front of the skull, injuring both sides of the skull at opposite ends. The is usually a contusion against the opposite side where the brain last hit, causing confusion, memory loss, coordination, basic skills such as swallowing, movement, and certain sensations.
Immediate Medical Attention is a Must
A traumatic brain injury is very serious. If you are in a car accident, it is likely your head and brain were affected. Even if you feel cognitively fine, it is imperative to get medical attention right away. Having a medical professional review your injuries can help deter potential damages in the future.
A head injury that goes untreated can have lasting results. Starting treatment right away, such as resting, limiting decision making, getting plenty of sleep, and most importantly, following your doctor's orders could save you from lasting cognitive damage.
Contact Your Experienced and Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
After receiving the immediate medical care that you need, please contact the Law Offices of Jason R. Carpenter. The firm possesses strong advocacy skills and seeks the best possible settlement for their client. We are experts in the traumatic brain injury field and will ensure you are taken care of legally and medically. You can trust you are in good hands with our firm and know we are working hard on your case because to us, you are family. You can reach the offices at (717) 537-0928.