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Basics of Traumatic Brain Injury

Colorado attorneys address 5 key questions and concerns regarding severe brain damage

Your brain is an incredible thing. It's true, think about it. The best scientific minds in the world have studied the human brain for centuries, yet we've still only scratched the surface of what this complex biological marvel is capable of.

Unfortunately, despite advances in modern medicine and safety, traumatic brain injury continues to be a major cause of disability and death worldwide. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that severe brain trauma is a contributing factor to nearly a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.

At The Babcock Law Firm, our goal is to educate the public about what it takes to recover from traumatic brain injury—physically, emotionally, and financially—as well as help you avoid situations where an injury might occur. If you'd like to learn how, keep reading for answers to several of the most common questions related to TBI.

What is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when a blow to the head or body, slip, fall, or some other impact jars or shakes the brain. This external force can cause bruising, swelling, or tearing of the brain tissue. TBI can range from a mild concussion to complete paralysis. Young children are most susceptible to injury, followed by the elderly.      
 
TBI statistics

What are the causes?

While any sort of impact can result in a brain injury, car accidents and falls are the most common causes, followed by sport-related injuries (under struck by/against), construction accidents, child abuse, domestic violence and blast injuries from explosions.

What are the symptoms?

The brain is a complex organ, and symptoms of an injury can be complex as well. Depending on which part of the brain is damaged and the severity of the impact, symptoms may appear right away or show up days, weeks, or even months after the incident.

While this list is not exhaustive, several common types of severe brain injury are:

  • Cognitive: Inability to focus, process new information, understand others, make decisions, or remember things.
  • Perceptual: Change in vision or other senses, disorientation, or balance issues.
  • Physical: Frequent dizziness, persistent headaches, nausea, fatigue, tremors, seizures, sleep disorders, paralysis, or loss of consciousness.
  • Behavioral/Emotional: Irritability, anxiety, increased aggressiveness, depression, unpredictable emotions or reactions.

If you or a loved one develops any of these signs or other unusual symptoms after an impact to the head—even if the incident occurred a while ago—call your doctor immediately.

How is TBI treated?

According to medical experts, the best treatment for a mild brain injury is rest. However, people who have suffered severe or repeated brain trauma may experience chronic health conditions that may impair a number of critical body functions, such as speech, movement, and learning.

With brain injury especially, it is essential that patients receive timely, specialized, and extended care to make sure they will be able to live a healthy and independent life. This could include:

  • Physical therapy to help regain the ability to do daily functions and tasks.
  • Speech therapy to help re-learn how to communicate and understand language.
  • Counseling for figuring out how to process emotions and thoughts.
  • Support groups to talk with others who are going through similar struggles.
  • Medicine for dealing with side effects like sleep apnea, recurring headaches, and emotional issues like anxiety or depression.

How can I pay for TBI treatment?

The long-term costs of treating traumatic brain injury are astounding. It is estimated that 1.7 million people sustain severe brain trauma annually. The total cost (both direct and indirect) of these injuries every year is close to $80 billion, meaning that each case of TBI costs an average of $40k - $50k. But other estimates put it easily at $100k or more. Basically, it all depends on the severity of injury.

Sometimes, negligence is the cause of a brain injury. In these types of situations, you should consult a brain injury attorney as soon as possible. You may have a right to compensation from the individual or party responsible for the accident – however, you must act immediately in order for your legal representative to have time to investigate your case and file a lawsuit before it expires under the statute of limitations.

If you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, schedule your free consultation with a knowledgeable Colorado brain injury attorney today to learn about how to recover your losses for medical expenses, lost wages and pain & suffering.

If you'd like to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and costs of TBI, visit the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado website.

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