According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) 1.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) annually. Of those it is estimated that 50,000 are fatal. Currently there are 5.3 million Americans who are living with conditions that resulted from TBI. These conditions can range from relatively mild to severe, causing neuropsychological impairments, diminished motor skills and sensory impairments. These challenges can have a devastating effect on one’s ability to function socially, personally and occupationally.
The brain is a fragile organ that is protected by a bony enclosure called the skull. The skull offers some protection against a bump or blow to the head; however it is not designed for high speed impacts or a sudden jarring motion. Injury can occur if the brain strikes the inside of the skull, rotates within, or the skull is penetrated by an object. Although the brain is an extremely complex organ, it is a soft gelatinous mass that is extremely fragile. Modern day activities have created innumerable possibilities for brain injuries to occur that did not exist centuries ago. The leading causes of brain injuries today are auto accidents, falls and sports injuries. Brain injuries are the leading cause of accidental death among people under 45 years of age.
Concussion – the Most Common Brain Injury
The most common form of brain injury is a concussion, or closed head injury, which may occur from any prominent or repeated blow to the head. Concussions may also result from a shaking of the head as in shaken baby syndrome. Serious or repeated concussions can lead to serious life altering consequences that may occur immediately or after days, weeks, years or even decades. A condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, (CTE) a progressive brain disease that cannot be accurately diagnosed until death, was recently brought to public awareness with the post mortem diagnoses of the legendary football star and announcer Frank Gifford.
Penetrating Brain Injury
The brain may also be injured by penetration of the skull. A severe impact by a projectile, by striking a sharp object or falling debris, may break the bony encasement of the skull and injure the exposed brain tissue. When the skull is fractured and the brain is penetrated, the risk of debilitation or death is high. This is not only from the actual injury to the brain but also from the elevated risk of infection. The wearing of helmets in construction, in sports, on motorcycles and on bicycles has reduced the incidence of penetrating brain trauma significantly.
Acquired Brain Injury
Aside from the traumatic brain injuries both penetrating and non-penetrating, another form of brain injury is referred to as acquired brain injury. These injuries occur when oxygen or blood flow is interrupted, resulting in damage to brain cells. Suffocation caused by drowning, strangulation, smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation can result in acquired brain injury. A relatively recent and frequent cause is the practice of “huffing” or inhaling toxic fumes with the intention of getting high.
Acquired brain injury may also occur to an infant during child birth if, for one or more reasons, oxygen to the unborn is cut off or inadequate. Cerebral palsy is a type of acquired brain injury to infants caused by lack of oxygen before or during birth.
Other acquired brain injuries may be the result of heart attack, stroke, infectious diseases and extended periods of extreme high fever or hypothermia. Acquired brain injuries are often treatable but long term affects such as depleted motor skills, slurred speech and cognitive impairment may be permanent.
The Brain Injury Attorney
In many cases such as accidents, medical malpractice and sports injuries, negligence, or even malice, may have played a part. If you feel that you or a loved one suffered a brain injury that was traumatic or acquired due to negligence or malice, it is important that you speak with a brain injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses both present and future, pain and suffering, loss of income both immediate and long term and, in some cases, punitive damages.
A brain injury can affect a person for life, resulting in millions of dollars of lost income and medical bills. An experienced brain injury attorney knows the true value of your case and will not settle for less just to earn a paycheck. Many settlement mills have attorneys who have never brought a brain injury case to court, settling cases for a fraction of their true worth.
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group will wage a vehement battle to get the maximum amount possible to ensure that you or your loved one can live their entire life without suffering financially. Speak to a brain injury attorney today at Dolman Law Group by calling (727) 853-6275 today for a free evaluation of your brain injury case.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652