A Guide to Traumatic Brain Injuries

How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur?

A sudden physical impact can cause damage to the brain. One of the most common causes of disability and death in U.S. adults, TBIs can occur in one or more areas of the brain and can range in severity from mild to acute.

Concussions are one of the most common types of TBIs and are frequently sustained during car accidents. Other TBI classifications include: 

  • Skull fractures, or the breaking of the skull
  • Contusions, or brain bruising or bleeding
  • Lacerations, or tears in the brain’s tissue or blood vessels
  • Diffuse axonal injuries, or the tearing of the brain’s nerve fibers as a result of movement inside the skull

What Are the Symptoms of a TBI?

Mild Injury

TBIs can cause a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms, depending on their severity. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the car accident that caused the trauma, while others may not manifest for days or even weeks.

Mild TBIs frequently result in headaches, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, problems with speech, and dizziness or loss of balance. Victims may also experience sensory issues, such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light or sound, ringing in the ears, or loss of taste or smell.

Directly following the accident, victims of mild TBI may briefly lose consciousness up to a few minutes or remain conscious but feel confused or disoriented. Over time, mild TBIs can lead to: 

  • Long-term memory and concentration problems
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression

Moderate to Severe Injury

TBIs that are more severe often cause a loss of consciousness from several minutes to several hours after a car accident. In some cases, they may lead to coma or other serious disorders of consciousness. Other physical signs of severe TBIs include:

  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Continuous nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dilatation of one or both eye pupils
  • Weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep

Victims of moderate to severe TBIs may also experience cognitive or mental impairments, including extreme confusion, feelings of agitation, combative behavior, and slurred speech. They may also have difficulty making decisions and exhibit significant personality changes, including a lack of impulse control. 

How Can You Recover From a TBI?

It’s critical to seek medical attention right away if you or someone you love starts exhibiting any of these symptoms after a car accident. While car accident victims with very mild TBIs, such as concussions, may recover on their own, most need treatment to improve their condition. 

For example, individuals who experience severe effects, such as paralysis or loss of speech, may need physical or occupational therapy to regain lost skills. In some cases, acute inpatient rehabilitation may be necessary to help restore a person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, and perform other basic functions of daily life.

In other instances, antidepressants or anti-seizure medication may be prescribed to help ease lasting TBI symptoms. Clinical psychologists or neuropsychologists often work with brain injury patients to help them develop coping skills for dealing with the difficulties of living with a traumatic brain injury.

How Can You Collect Compensation for Your Losses?

Even mild injuries can dramatically affect a person’s ability to work or live life to the fullest. If you’ve sustained a TBI in a car accident and another person was at fault, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to collect compensation for all your medical expenses, along with damages for lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.

As one of Atlanta, Georgia’s premier personal injury firms, we offer aggressive representation to accident victims throughout the area. If you’ve been injured in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, our team will strive to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  Give us a call at (404)737-6251 to consult with us today.