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What is a Brain Injury or TBI?

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Trauma to the body (from car accidents, truck accidents, or other forces), sets the brain in motion inside the skull. Depending upon the severity and direction of the forces, the brain can be damaged in different ways. These include: surface injuries caused by the initial force, and the rebound caused within the skull; or stretch damage to microscopic structures like axons, dendrites, and blood vessels. Related to brain injuries are injuries to the spinal cord as well as brain stem and cerebellum injuries.

The primary “mechanical” injury to brain structures is often followed by secondary damage arising from the brain’s response to the injury. Secondary damage arises from a reduction in blood flow within the cerebral part of the brain, reduction in glucose metabolism within the brain, swelling, and/or scar tissue formation. Depending upon the type of secondary damage, cells distant from the site of the trauma may die over a period of days, weeks, months or years. While the insurance companies, and their doctors will deny this in trial, US Center for Disease Control has confirmed that brain injury symptoms can start “days, weeks, or months after the trauma.”

Three Categories of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are broken down into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe.   Multiple medical societies have now created standardized the definition of mild traumatic brain injuries – which do not include a loss of consciousness or a head strike.  As demonstrated with “shaken baby syndrome” people can die of brain injury without any head strike.   The designation of mild, moderate and severe brain injury, are medical definitions based upon the period of loss of consciousness, or brain bleeds.  The symptoms of “mild traumatic brain injury” can range from mild to severe, and can lead to permanent disability and inability to work.  Mild traumatic brain injuries make up approximately 80% of all brain injuries.  But, as noted by a recent congressional study, people with cognitive disability from brain injury are much less likely to be able to stay employed, and are less than 50% as likely to stay employed after a disabling brain injury.

To better understand the impact trauma has on the brain, learn about how the brain works and how injuries manifest themselves.

Traumatic Brain Injuries:  Difficulty Diagnosing

Unfortunately, brain injuries are often missed by hospital emergency rooms, which are primarily focused on treating life threatening injuries.  Worse yet, the CT Scans used initially after injury are only intended to see skull fractures and the small percentage of brain injuries with frank bleeding in the brain.  Regardless of whether the brain injury is a frontal lobe injurytemporal lobe, occipital lobe, or parietal lobe injury, many people with brain injuries are not correctly diagnosed for months later, or never.  In a recent article, 78% of the homeless population has sustained a brain injury, and been left without sufficient compensation from the person at fault for the injury to support themselves, leading them to rely upon public assistance paid by all taxpayers.  This is why hiring an experienced brain injury lawyer is so important.  If the injured person doesn’t receive the best outcome possible on their case, they are likely to end up being a financial burden on other taxpayers.  Our position is that the person or company at fault should pay for the damage they caused, by taking appropriate personal or corporate responsibility.  But, insurance companies and their lawyers will try to prevent fair compensation at every turn.

Even with cutting edge high definition 3T MRI, only 20% of brain injuries have positive results on MRI.  It is well accepted within the medical community that both MRIs and CT scans will be negative. If you have a brain injury, and have been told that you have a negative MRI or CT, it does not mean that you do not have a legitimate mild traumatic brain injury.  If you have brain injury symptoms, all that a negative MRI or CT means, is that you probably have what is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury.

How can I get help for a brain injury?

For more information, please contact us or call our office at 866.843.3476 for a free consultation with a brain injury lawyer.