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What You Should Know About Pedestrian Traumatic Brain Injuries

Approximately one million people in the United States are treated for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, and an estimated 5.3 million people live with a TBI-related disability. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBI, particularly when cars strike pedestrians. Unlike broken bones or cuts, head damage may be permanent so speak with a brain injury attorney today to discuss the details of your case.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is most often caused by a blow or jolt to the head. An object that penetrates the brain tissue can also cause a TBI.

In a violent accident, such as a car striking a pedestrian, the primary brain injury typically happens at the moment of impact, when the brain is pushed against the skull, sometimes crashing back and forth. The injury may involve part of the brain or the entire brain, and can include bleeding, bruising, or tearing of nerve fibers.

The secondary brain injury occurs after the initial impact of the brain against the inside of the skull. The brain swells, which increases pressure within the head. The swelling may injure parts of the brain that were not injured by the primary trauma. This injury can happen gradually and can happen up to 5 days after the injury. In some cases, the secondary injury may become more serious than the primary injury.

The physical damage to the brain resulting from the primary or secondary injury may include:

  • A contusion (or bruising) of the brain.
  • A diffuse axonal injury (DAI), which happens when the brain bounces around inside the skull, damaging the nerve axons.
  • A Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, when bleeding occurs in the space surrounding the brain, which is normally filled with cerebrospinal fluid and which acts as a cushion.
  • A hematoma, when a blood vessel ruptures and blog clots within the brain.

Traumatic brain injuries are also typically classified by severity:

  • Mild: the injured person is awake, but may have a brief loss of consciousness, disorientation, or a headache.
  • Moderate: the injured person may lose consciousness for approximately 20 minutes to 6 hours and be lethargic when awake.
  • Severe: the person is unconscious for more than 6 hours.

Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be obvious, or they may be difficult to detect, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Here are some signs of a traumatic brain injury to watch for. Note that many of these symptoms may occur even if the brain injury is mild to moderate.

If the injury is primarily on the left side of the brain:

  • Problems with remembering words
  • Problems understanding words or speaking, slowed speech
  • Impaired control over movements on the right side of the body
  • Faulty logic
  • Anxiety and depression

If the injury is primarily on the right side of the brain:

  • Impaired control over movements on the left side of the body
  • Loss of “big picture” problem solving
  • Spatial and visual problems
  • Visual memory disturbance

Diffuse injuries, or injuries to both sides of the brain:

  • Fatigue
  • Problems thinking or concentrating
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Unable to handle changes in normal routines
  • Cognitive impairment, such as trouble making decisions, or learning new things

Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries

If you are a pedestrian and have been struck by a motor vehicle, the force of the blow to your head may have resulted in bleeding in the brain, a skull fracture, or other dangerous types of brain damage leading to a TBI. Each case is unique; however, people who survive a brain injury often have long-term physical and mental disabilities, as well as changes in their emotions and personality, that require specialized, long-term treatment. The treatments for TBI after a pedestrian accident can include rest, medication, intensive care, surgery, and physical, cognitive and occupational therapy.

Causes of Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accidents

Common causes of pedestrian accidents caused by motor vehicles include:

  • Drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or other substances
  • Distracted drivers
  • Driver’s failure to stop completely at traffic lights or stop signs
  • Driver’s failure to make sure the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians

What Should You Do If You Have Suffered a Pedestrian Traumatic Brain Injury?

If you have been injured as a pedestrian, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious, you may develop symptoms later. In some cases, a brain injury may not be immediately apparent. Without proper medical attention, diagnosis, and treatment, it is hard to predict future medical complications and costs.

Record as much information about the accident as possible, as soon as possible. And, soon after your accident, speak to an attorney with experience representing pedestrian accident victims with TBI. Survivors of traumatic brain injuries may be entitled to recover medical expenses, rehabilitation and therapy costs, pain and suffering damages, and more. A victim of a pedestrian traumatic brain injury may have a cause of action against the person or persons who are at fault in the accident. They typically need the assistance and resources of an attorney to gather the necessary evidence and determine their rights to compensation.

A pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident every eight minutes. Studies show that children, the elderly, and those of lower socioeconomic status are especially vulnerable. Brain injuries are complicated, devastating and can change your life in many ways. A person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury may not look any different but may be living with long-term or permanent disabilities such as difficulty processing information, communicating, or completing assignments. Some people are left with severe psychological problems, such as emotional distress, dependent behavior, depression, anxiety, anger or aggression. He or she may need temporary or permanent help to perform the tasks of everyday living.

If you or someone you love has been suffered a TBI as a pedestrian, seek out an experienced, compassionate attorney to assess your case and protect your rights, both now and in the future. For more information, call Abels & Annes, P.C. at 312-924-7575 or contact us online.

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.