If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident where trauma to the head has occurred, it is important to seek medical attention. Many times, car accident victims will feel a rush of endorphins following an accident and may not even realize how severely they have been injured. This can be especially true in the case of TBIs, where it may take time for the true severity of an injury to show.
Many times, the primary injury in a TBI case is less serious than a secondary injury where the brain has had time to swell. Seek medical treatment for you or your loved one immediately if they have suffered a head injury to avoid exacerbating the trauma.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs whenever an injury affects the brain either by blow, jolt, or penetrating trauma. The injury that occurs at impact is referred to as the primary injury. Primary injuries can be isolated to a specific lobe of the brain but in some cases can involve multiple lobes or even the entire brain. Skull fractures may also occur but are not necessary in classifying an injury as a TBI.
Immediately following an accident the injured person may seem fine, but it is possible for there to be a delayed response to the trauma. If the brain begins to swell, it may reduce the flow of oxygen-rich blood from circulating, leading to other issues. This is known as a secondary injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are classified according to the severity and mechanism of injury According to Mayfield Clinic are as follows:
- Mild: person is awake; eyes open. Symptoms can include confusion, disorientation, memory loss, headache, and brief loss of consciousness.
- Moderate: person is lethargic; eyes open to stimulation. Loss of consciousness lasting 20 minutes to 6 hours. Some brain swelling or bleeding causing sleepiness, but still arousable.
- Severe: person is unconscious; eyes do not open, even with stimulation. Loss of consciousness lasting more than 6 hours.
Types of traumatic brain injuries
- Concussion is a mild head injury that can cause a brief loss of consciousness and usually does not cause permanent brain injury.
- Contusion is a bruise to a specific area of the brain caused by an impact to the head; also called coup or contrecoup injuries. In coup injuries, the brain is injured directly under the area of impact, while in contrecoup injuries it is injured on the side opposite the impact.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a shearing and stretching of the nerve cells at the cellular level. It occurs when the brain quickly moves back and forth inside the skull, tearing and damaging the nerve axons. Axons connect one nerve cell to another throughout the brain, like telephone wires. Widespread axonal injury disrupts the brain’s normal transmission of information and can result in substantial changes in a person’s wakefulness.
- Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (tSAH) is bleeding into the space that surrounds the brain. This space is normally filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which acts as a floating cushion to protect the brain. Traumatic SAH occurs when small arteries tear during the initial injury. The blood spreads over the surface of the brain causing widespread effects.
- Hematoma is a blood clot that forms when a blood vessel ruptures. Blood that escapes the normal bloodstream starts to thicken and clot. Clotting is the body’s natural way to stop the bleeding. A hematoma may be small or it may grow large and compress the brain. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the clot. A clot that forms between the skull and the dura lining of the brain is called an epidural hematoma. A clot that forms between the brain and the dura is called a subdural hematoma. A clot that forms deep within the brain tissue itself is called an intracerebral hematoma. Over time the body reabsorbs the clot. Sometimes surgery is performed to remove large clots.
Although described as individual injuries, a person who has suffered a TBI is more likely to have a combination of injuries, each of which may have a different level of severity. This makes answering questions like “what part of the brain is hurt?” difficult, as more than one area is usually involved.
Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!