Persons suffering from traumatic brain injury often feel like they need help but do not know where to turn or who to ask for help. We can help with your case!
In North Carolina every year, there are thousands of individuals who are victims of head injuries or head trauma that result in traumatic brain injury, also called TBI. This type of injury occurs when the human brain is driven against the inside bony portion of the skull by a sudden blow, by a shaking force, or by whiplash in an car accident.
The impact can cause bruising and swelling of the brain. In other cases, that impact may tear blood vessels in the brain, causing intracranial bleeding. If you or someone you care about has suffered a severe head injury, brain injury, brain hemorrhaging, or TBI, contact the Durham lawyers at Thomas, Ferguson & Mullins.
Different Types of Brain Injuries
There are different types of brain injuries. If the trauma damages the skull itself, such as a crack, break or fracture, the trauma is considered a penetrating head injury. More often, however, are the closed head injuries or CHI.
Closed head injuries are difficult to diagnose. Closed head injury is where the skull is not obviously damaged, but the brain is still injured. This can occur from a blow or impact, or from severe back-and-forth shaking, such as whiplash from a car accident.
Babies and small children can suffer such injuries from being shaken, known as “shaken baby syndrome.” It is common for victims of serious impacts and traumas (like car wrecks, truck crashes, motorcycle wrecks, or other auto accidents) to have closed head injury where the initial emergency room department visit fails to detect the brain injury, but days, weeks, even months later a traumatic brain injury is diagnosed due to ongoing symptoms and problems.
What are the signs of a brain injury?
Some brain injuries are obvious, but most are not. Whether it is you or a loved one who you are worried about concerning a traumatic brain injury, there are signs you will notice that evidence a traumatic brain injury or TBI. A medical professional should evaluate anyone who has sustained a blow to the head or suffered whiplash-like injuries to determine if the victim has experienced a TBI.
Even if symptoms are so slight that the victim does not realize that a serious injury has occurred, treatment should be sought before further injury develops. Often the symptoms may be delayed for many hours until swelling in the brain reaches a point that it noticeably affects the victim. And because the victim is often not fully aware of their symptoms, it is critical that you or another loved one close to the victim attend the medical visit and tell the nurse and doctor about the symptoms that you have witnessed.
The signs and symptoms to look for include the following:
- Loss of balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Poor judgment
- Short-term memory loss
- Intermittent disorientation
- Poor concentration
- Personality changes
- Confrontational attitude
- Explosive temper
- Appetite changes
What are some long-term problems due to brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are serious, life-threatening events that can result in permanent, irreversible damage to the brain. With severe brain injuries, the impairments are obvious and profound. They can result in weakness, abnormalities including loss of sensation, coordination, or intellectual capacity, or even paralysis.
The most often overlooked TBI cases are those involving subtle neurological and mental changes. These may happen as a result of what appears to be a minor accident in which the brain is shaken or jarred. Symptoms, called soft signs, begin to appear afterwards, sometimes after long periods of time.
In either case, a TBI can have a profound effect on quality of life, including inability to return to work or find employment, inability or loss of desire to interact with friends and family, and loss of body function. A brain injury lawyer from Thomas, Ferguson & Mullins, LLP knows the relevant laws and will help you receive compensation for your TBI.
Medical Terminology Concerning Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussion: Occurs when the head receives a trauma and the brain is jarred inside the skull, which can end in a period of confusion, dizziness, and/or nausea.
Retrograde Amnesia: Loss of memory of events that occurred before the injury.
Anterograde Amnesia: Loss of forward memory of events that occurred after the injury.
Brain Contusion: A bruise to the brain.
Focal Injury: An injury to one part of the brain leaving the other parts intact.
Diffuse Injury: Denotes widespread damage to the brain or its surrounding tissues.
Contrecoup Injury: Brain damage occurring at the side of the brain opposite the point of trauma, caused by the cerebral spinal fluid drifting backwards. (For instance, in a whiplash case where a vehicle is rear-ended hard, the victims head will be snapped backwards into the headrest of the car. The brain will float to the back of the skull and then rebound to the front of the skull causing brain injury at the front of the brain.)
The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC) is an organization in North Carolina whose mission is to help address the needs of the survivors of brain injury, and help prevent brain injuries across the state.
You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.