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Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be extremely serious, but they can also go unrecognized and untreated. As such, TBIs are often referred to as the “silent epidemic” or even as “invisible injuries.” This silent or hidden quality can intensify the psychologically damaging effects of traumatic brain injuries.

Many events can lead to a TBI, and the recovery process is typically ongoing. TBIs are unpredictable and they can lead to overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial consequences for sufferers and their loved ones. to discuss your case don’t hesitate to contact a brain injury attorney today.

The Brain’s Vulnerability

Our brains are afforded the protections of our skulls, but still remain extremely vulnerable to injury through trauma. Traumatic brain injuries are frequently caused by either blows to or sustained whipping motions of the head. Because your brain serves as the control center for your entire body, TBIs can permanently alter your life in the span of a few seconds.

The Major Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Mayo Clinic identifies several factors as the most common causes of TBIs:

Falls – While many falls lead to nothing more dangerous than skinned knees, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. This is especially true for young children and older adults.

Car accidents – Car accidents and other kinds of vehicular accidents, including motorcycle and bike accidents, are also significant causes of TBIs. Such accidents don’t even have to involve high speeds to cause significant damage. When vehicles collide, drivers and passengers can be slammed against interiors—the motion and impact of which can result in serious brain injuries.

Taking hits on the field or court – Everyone loves a good game, but sports can be dangerous, and some sports are more dangerous than others. In fact, high-impact sports such as football have received a lot of recent press for the potential danger of brain injuries. Young athletes are particularly at risk. Intense, action-packed sports provide ample opportunities to sustain dangerous blows to the head.

Criminal violence – Violence obviously endangers people in many ways and often results in traumatic brain injuries. Whenever an object hits or enters the skull, it can lead to irreparable brain tissue and cell damage, which makes gunshot wounds and heavy blows to the head especially devastating. Physically shaking a baby or small child (shaken baby syndrome) can be a direct cause of TBI. When a person is thrown, pushed, or heaved against a solid object, it can also lead to a TBI.

Military combat – Soldiers who engage in active duty can experience extremely violent explosions and collisions and high-velocity shrapnel can hit them. Such conditions are conducive to traumatic brain injuries. Furthermore, the high-intensity pressure waves from military blasts can adversely affect brain functioning.

Know the Signs

TBIs are highly unpredictable. As such, each traumatic brain injury is unique. Because the consequences of a TBI can include a range of cognitive, physical, sensory, behavioral, and psychological symptoms, it’s important to recognize common symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden onset of confusion
  • Persistent headaches
  • Unconsciousness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sudden onset of sleep disturbances
  • Lack of coordination
  • Numbness and weakness
  • Sudden speech difficulties
  • Sudden changes in personality or mood

The Statistics of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly in both scope and significance, which is why they can elude timely detection. Traumatic brain injuries are not uncommon, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some startling associated statistics:

  • About 1.7 million Americans sustain a TBI each year (about 52,000 die, about 275,000 are hospitalized, and nearly 1.4 million are treated and released from the ER).
  • TBIs contribute to about 30 percent of all U.S. injury-related deaths.
  • Those most likely to sustain TBIs are four years old and younger, between the ages of 15 and 19, or older than 65.
  • Those 75 and older experience the highest TBI-related hospitalization and death rates.
  • Males experience more TBIs than do females (across all age groups).
  • Boys four and younger experience the highest rates of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The Effects of TBIs

Even relatively minor TBIs can have far-reaching consequences. Your brain is your body’s control center, and even minor changes in that control system can lead to unpredictable results. In fact, a traumatic brain injury can affect your cognitive functioning, your language skills, and your senses, including your senses of smell and hearing. Some TBI victims suffer from seizures that can become chronic. Physical symptoms, however, aren’t the only negative consequences of TBIs.

Traumatic brain injuries are often accompanied by long-lasting psychological and emotional consequences, and these conditions can be just as difficult—and sometimes more difficult—to endure. After suffering a TBI, many find that they can no longer control their emotions. This can isolate victims and contribute to depression and other mental health issues. Furthermore, these symptoms can dramatically affect a victim’s support system, including family and friends.

Your Traumatic Brain Injury

It’s established—traumatic brain injuries are, in fact, traumatic in many ways. If you have suffered a TBI that was caused by someone else’s recklessness, negligence, or wrongful conduct, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Victims of TBIs often face futures filled with unique challenges, including financial losses. Furthermore, insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts and are not necessarily invested in fairly compensating you for the damages you have sustained.

If you have suffered a TBI, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. Abels & Annes handle the process of negotiating with insurance companies and advocate for fair settlement amounts rather than accepting initial (often lowball) offers. Your health, your future, and your case matters.

If You’ve Suffered a TBI, Call a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible

The Chicago personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Abels & Annes understand how overwhelming traumatic brain injuries can be, and we’re here to help. If you need legal counsel, please don’t hesitate to contact or call our office at (312) 924-7575 for a free consultation today.

The Long-term Effects of Multiple Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which include concussions, are serious conditions that require immediate treatment for the various symptoms that may result. While many victims of concussions or other types of TBIs recover over time, they may not realize the increased risks that exist if they happen to sustain subsequent brain injuries in their lifetime. If you are struggling to cope with any aspect of having a TBI then speak to a brain injury attorney to discuss different ways to recover compensation.

It has long been recognized that sustaining a second head injury before the first one has healed can be dangerous and even life-threatening. However, the medical community is only beginning to understand the risks of sustaining multiple concussions over time—even after the patient has completely recovered from the previous concussion. Examining the conditions of former athletes who played contact sports for years has shed light on the subject. The following are some of the potential long-term effects of multiple brain injuries:

The early onset of cognitive disorders can significantly affect a multiple concussion victim’s quality of life, ability to work, relationships, and more. In addition, CTE is a highly dangerous condition that can lead to suicide—and can only be positively diagnosed after death.

It is important to realize that while multiple concussions are common in certain types of sports, athletes are not the only ones who may suffer multiple brain injuries throughout their lives. The following, if experienced more than once, may also lead to multiple brain injuries and resulting long-term effects:

Many people, over the span of their life, experience more than one of the above accidents. Repeated accidents can result in multiple brain injuries over the course of time and lead to devastating effects and losses.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm for More Information

If you suffer a brain injury in any type of accident that was negligently caused by another person, you deserve to fully recover for your losses. The Chicago brain injury attorneys at the law firm of Abels & Annes regularly work with concussion and TBI victims to help them recover for their losses. Please contact us for a free consultation at 312-924-7575 today.

The High Cost of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury is diagnosed after damage occurs to brain tissue after the brain hits the inside of the skull, usually due to head trauma. Even relatively minor brain injuries can be serious and should always be treated as such, including seeking immediate medical attention. If you or a loved one is currently struggling financially with your head injury speak with your brain injury attorney to discuss your options for compensation. Over time, a brain-injury victim may incur substantial costs and losses as a direct result of the injury. The following are some examples of how high the cost of a traumatic brain injury can be:

Medical expenses – It’s no secret that any type of medical care can be costly in the United States, with or without help from insurance. While all brain-injury victims should seek medical treatment, some will require more extensive treatment than others. Some examples of medical expenses that may be faced include:

  • Emergency department or urgent care visits
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Hospitalization
  • Intensive care unit (ICU) treatment if a coma occurs
  • Rehabilitative therapy or stay in a rehab center
  • Therapy for emotional control issues
  • Physical therapy
  • Medical equipment to help with physical impairments
  • Medications
  • All of this care can result in thousands or even millions of dollars in medical bills over time. If ongoing care is required, the costs can keep climbing for the rest of a brain-injury victim’s life.

Lost income – Because brain injuries can affect your cognitive, physical, and emotional functioning, many victims must take time away from work while they recover. Even if you have paid time off, you can easily exceed the allotted amount and will likely eventually miss out on income you would have earned had your brain injury not occurred. If you suffer long-lasting symptoms, you may never be able to return to your previous job and may have to settle for a lower-paying job.

Permanent disability – Severe brain injuries can leave victims with permanent impairments that can completely change the rest of their lives. Victims deserve to be compensated for the enjoyment and opportunities lost due to their disabilities, as well as the stress of navigating life with a new disability.

Call a Chicago Brain Injury Attorney for Help Today

Because the losses from a brain injury can be significant, it is imperative to discuss your rights to financial recovery with a Chicago brain injury lawyer. Call the office of Abels & Annes, P.C. at 312-924-7575 as soon as possible for a free consultation.

Severe Brain Injuries Can Cause Long-Term Complications

According to the CDC, about 1.7 million people receive treatment for some degree of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on an annual basis in the U.S. Thousands of these victims are diagnosed with a “severe” brain injury, which is the most serious category of TBI. Severe brain injuries are unique in that the effects and complications can last for years. They even may be permanent. The following are only some of the long-term complications that can accompany severe brain injuries.

Coma – One sign of a severe brain injury is the loss of consciousness for an extended period of time. Victims can be comatose for days or weeks and may require time in the intensive care unit (ICU). In some tragic cases, a victim of a severe TBI may never fully regain consciousness.

Surgery – Another common yet dangerous complication of a severe TBI is increased intracranial pressure due to swelling of the brain or fluid buildup inside the skull. In some situations, doctors may need to operate to remove part of the skull to relieve pressure. In addition, they may insert a pressure monitor in the brain to identify when additional complications may be occurring.

Rehabilitation – Once a severe TBI victim regains consciousness, he or she often has a long road to recovery. Severe TBIs can affect physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities, and victims often have to undergo a significant amount of rehabilitation to return to former activities. Victims may live in a rehab center for months after the injury.

Permanent impairments – Even with extensive treatment and rehabilitation, some victims of severe brain injuries never fully return to their previous state. Instead, they will have to adjust to life with cognitive, physical, or emotional impairments, which can often prevent them from returning to previous educational programs, careers, or daily activities.

Call a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Injuries Today

Because the long-term effects of a TBI can be serious, it is important for victims to contact a Chicago brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Abels & Annes, we understand how complex this type of injury can be, so please call us at 312-924-7575 to discuss your case for free today.

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss TBI

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are very serious and often misunderstood. Because the symptoms and effects can vary widely, many people have difficulty explaining the full extent of the challenges and impairments that a TBI can cause. Our brain injury attorneys understand that this injury can change your life, and the following is some brief information regarding the nature of brain injuries.

Types

Brain injuries can occur in many ways and can damage many different areas of the brain tissue. A slight bump on the head can cause a brain injury, and TBIs are generally categorized in the following manner:

  • Mild TBIs, which create symptoms for a few days or weeks
  • Moderate TBIs, which can have longer-lasting effects
  • Severe TBIs, which often leave victims with permanent impairments or facing years of recovery

Common Symptoms

Every victim of a TBI will have different symptoms, often depending on the part of the brain that was damaged and the severity of the injury. However, symptoms can affect your cognitive, behavioral, physical, and emotional capabilities. Some common effects include:

  • Difficulty processing information or following instructions
  • Memory lapses
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Lack of coordination or balance
  • Vision, hearing, or speech issues
  • Problems with written and verbal communication
  • Anger management problems
  • Personality changes
  • Mood disorders

This list is far from exhaustive, and the effects of a particular brain injury can impact many areas of your life.

Treatment

Treatment for TBIs can also vary depending on the nature of the injury and symptoms. For example, a patient with a severe brain injury may be unconscious for an extended period of time, which could require a stay in the intensive care unit. In addition, many victims of severe TBIs require time in a rehabilitative facility. If complications arise, a brain injury victim may also require surgery to relieve intracranial pressure or fluid from the brain.

Even mild brain injuries often require a victim to take time off from work or other activities, and a treatment plan can cause significant disruption in your life.

Call Our Chicago Brain Injury Lawyers for Assistance Today

If you have incurred losses because of a brain injury that you sustained in any type of accident, discuss your situation with our skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes. Please contact our office at (312) 924-7575 for help today.