With more than 1.5 million cases per year, traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults in the United States.
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries—also called TBIs—are all too common in busy cities like New Orleans, Metairie, and Baton Rouge. Because of the large population and bustling activity in metropolitan areas like these, more people are likely to experience a brain injury.
Whether a traumatic brain injury is caused by a slip or fall, a car crash, or being struck by an object at work, you should always seek medical attention right away. TBIs can be long-lasting and even have the potential to be fatal.
You'll also want an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney in your corner so that you can receive the compensation you deserve for any physical damages and emotional pain and suffering.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
There are two main types of acquired brain injuries (ABI), the umbrella term for any type of injury to the brain that occurs after birth. The two types are traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries. It's crucial to know the difference between the two if you've sustained a head injury.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force that causes the brain to move inside the skull, damaging the brain. It usually involves a violent blow to the head or body that may or may not be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. Other possible symptoms include nausea, blurred vision, and slurred speech.
A non-traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain that is not caused by an external force. In many cases, it is the result of neurological damage that occurs at the cellular level. It is usually associated with heart attacks, tumors, aneurysms, strokes, and other relevant illnesses.
Since non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by illnesses or neurological dysfunctions, they are usually unavoidable unless preventative medical steps are taken.
On the other hand, TBIs are head injuries caused by an external force, which means they're almost always accidents that may be the fault of another person. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help prove your case to ensure that the person at fault is rightfully served.
According to the CDC, as of 2017, the most common causes of a traumatic brain injury are:
- Unintentional slips and falls
- Being struck by or against an object
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Physical assault or self-harm incidents
- Unknown or other causes
Data has also shown that male children and young adults are more likely to suffer from a brain injury due to lifestyle choices, making them part of the high-risk group. Additionally, seniors over 75 years of age are more likely to suffer fatal injuries from a brain injury.
What Are the 4 Types of TBIs?
There are four main types of brain injuries: a penetrating brain injury, a concussion, a contusion, and an anoxic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Type #1: Penetrating Brain Injury
A penetrating brain injury occurs when there's a significant impact on the brain that causes the brain or skull to slam into the opposite side of the crash site.
So, for example, if you've suffered a blow to the back of your head, a penetrating brain injury would be if your head moves forward while your brain moves backward. This causes damage at the impact site and on the opposite side of the brain.
A brain injury like this can be extremely severe. Events like car accidents, gunshot wounds to the head, significant falls, sports injuries, or physical acts of violence may cause a penetrating brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Type #2: Concussion
A concussion (also called a mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI) is the most common type of brain injury. Every year, there are an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions in the United States.
A concussion is caused by a sudden blow, bump, or jolt to the head, which may shake the brain and cause it to bounce around the skull. This may create chemical changes and damage brain cells, depending on the severity of the blow.
Unfortunately, several years ago, concussions were not considered severe and people viewed them as a minor inconvenience. As a result, sufferers often failed to seek the help of brain injury attorneys to pursue just compensation.
Thankfully, the medical field has evolved, and concussions today are considered severe because of their long-term effects. If you experience this type of head injury due to someone else's negligence, you'll need to talk to a personal injury lawyer.
Traumatic Brain Injury Type #3: Brain Contusion
A contusion is a bruise to the brain itself, which causes bleeding and swelling inside of the brain. Contusions are severe because they can lead to potentially fatal blood clots within the brain.
The damage that a person may incur depends on the size of the bleed, how long it lasts, and the location of the brain injury. If the bleeding doesn't stop on its own, then surgery may be necessary.
Contusions often occur along with concussions. They may occur in car accidents, during slips and falls, with sports-related incidents, or in any other situation where the brain receives major contact.
Traumatic Brain Injury Type #4: Diffuse Axonal Injury
A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is similar to a concussion because it moves the brain due to blunt force. However, DAIs are much more serious: These occur when the head moves so violently that the brain stem can't keep up with the movement, which causes a tear in connection.
These tears may range from microscopic to significant—so depending on the severity, a person can suffer from different types of brain damage, like muscle tension or paralysis.
If you've suffered a brain injury, you have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses and any associated pain and suffering. Don't wait until the bills for your medical care pile up. Reach out to a New Orleans personal injury lawyer for legal advice as soon as possible.
Why Should You Call a New Orleans Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?
The unfortunate truth is that TBIs happen all the time—but if another person caused yours through an accident or negligence, then you need to take legal action to ensure that you're protected medically and financially. That's why you should always work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you:
- Prove that someone else's negligence causes your brain injury
- Prevent the opposing insurance company from driving down the value of your claim
- Ensuring that all the people responsible for the brain injury are held at fault
- Navigate the process of filing a claim and lawsuit
If you do decide to file a personal injury lawsuit or a disability claim, the financial reward you receive may help cover medical bills, physical damages, and even reimburse time taken away from work due to your brain injury. Your lawyer will help you get the best outcome possible so all you need to worry about is recovery.
Find the Right Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Today
Not all brain injuries result in a long-term disability. In many cases, with rehabilitation, a brain injury can heal. However, moderate to severe injuries can result in permanent brain damage. Even patients who fully recover could experience long-term symptoms that don't disappear.
Since the effects of a traumatic brain injury may last years or become permanent, it's essential to understand how it affects your physical and mental abilities. These injuries can prevent you from working, going to school, or even maintaining social relationships.
If you've suffered a traumatic brain injury, then it's time to work with a traumatic brain injury attorney in Metairie and Baton Rouge who can help you with your personal injury claim.
With more than 25 years of personal injury experience, Schwartz Law Firm will fight for your rights—and your future, no matter what. Contact our expert injury lawyers and receive a free case review and consultation.