A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of head injury that is so severe, it impacts the brain. These injuries happen in varying degrees and are classified based on the severity of the trauma and impact. Some TBI are visible while the damage is purely internal in other cases. A TBI is a head injury, but not all head injuries are TBI. Usually what causes this type of injury is a severe accident. This could have been a fall from a great height, a car accident or a workplace accident. These accidents are considered catastrophic because they result in permanently debilitating injuries.
The side effects of TBI will likely affect a person for the duration of their lifetime. Again, the extent of these side effects will depend on the severity. Some of the side effects may be physically painful, others will cause emotional damage such as “loss of enjoyment of life,” and yet others will cause cognitive issues such as amnesia or even mental retardation. Because these injuries have the potential to significantly alter the course of an individual’s life, they deserve a closer look to see if legal action needs to be taken. This can be efficiently accomplished under the guidance of a New York City personal injury attorney from our firm.
There are three major systems that doctors use to classify brain injuries: the Glasgow Coma Scale, post traumatic amnesia duration and the amount of time that the victim lost consciousness. When these numbers are totaled, doctors can come to a conclusion on whether the injury is mild, moderate or severe. The Glasgow Coma Scale measures a person’s neurological functions by analyzing how the eyes, voice and motor functions react to stimuli. The less responsive an individual is, the lower their coma score will be. The lower the score, the more severe the injury is said to be.
Post-traumatic amnesia is the state of confusion that follows a serious head injury. The person may become disoriented, confused and fearful in the moments following an accident. The longer this post-traumatic amnesia lasts, the worse the TBI is said to be. If the amnesia lasts for less than one hour, the TBI is likely mild. If the amnesia lasts up to a day, then the injury is considered moderate. Finally, if the victim is left in a state of confusion for longer than a 24-hour period, then their condition is considered severe.
Finally, a victim suffering from a TBI will likely be left unconscious for a certain amount of time. The length of time unconscious is a good indicator of how severe the injury is. Any amount of time that is less than 30 minutes is considered a mild injury. Anything greater than 30 minutes but less than a day is considered a moderate brain injury, and a severe TBI will typically leave a victim unconscious for a period exceeding 24 hours.
Some of those who have sustained severe traumatic brain injuries will die within a few days of their injury or less. Those who suffer a TBI that is permanently debilitating make up about ten percent of all mild brain injury cases, 66 percent of moderate cases and 100 percent of severe injuries. One of the main risks facing TBI sufferers is post-traumatic seizures.
Since brain injuries may require that victims be confined to bed rest, victims may also be at an increased risk of blood clots for lack of movement. Due to the severity of this type of injury, victims who suffer TBI wrongfully will likely be entitled to a large amount of compensation. Of course, it is necessary to speak with an attorney in order to find out whether or not you have a case and how much that case may be worth. To learn more, contact our firm today.