The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Written by Atlee Hall

Every year millions of people suffer brain injuries. According to data from the CDC, there were approximately 2.5 million TBI-related ED visits in the U.S. Many people have become more aware of the devastating effects of brain injuries, as the widespread prevalence of concussions in the NFL have shown. Currently, there is a mass tort involving thousands of former players seeking compensation from the NFL for its manipulation and denial of the science of repetitive head trauma. But it is not just football players who are at risk for head injuries. The most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in 2013 were falls, being struck by an object, and motor vehicle crashes. Many survivors of traumatic brain injuries live with significant disabilities.

In 2010, the economic impact of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. was estimated to be $76.5 billion in direct and indirect costs. If you believe you’ve suffered a brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to talk to a lawyer who understands the complexity of these injuries, and the best way to present these injuries to help you get the compensation you deserve.

A traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. The term traumatic brain injury encompasses a number of different types, and each specific case of traumatic brain injury is unique. Depending the on the type of traumatic brain injury suffered, only one functional part of the brain may be injured, or it might encompass more parts, or all of the brain. Concussions and Contusions are commonly the result of direct impacts to the head and can cause traumatic brain injuries. A Coup-Contrecoup is a type of contusion that occurs when the force impacting the head is great enough to move the brain and cause it to slam into the opposite side of the skull. Traumatic brain injuries are categorized as mild, moderate, and severe. However, mild traumatic brain injuries are still very serious injuries and require immediate medical attention. The effects of a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion can be serious and have long term effects.

Traumatic brain injuries, depending on their severity, can cause a wide range of potentially permanent injuries. In addition to the more serious risks that accompany a severe traumatic brain injury such as coma, vegetative state, or brain death, even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause changes people’s intellectual and cognitive ability, their memory, and cause significant behavioral and mental health challenges. People often will experience deficits in memory, learning, reasoning, judgment, attention, or concentration. Problem-solving, multitasking, and organization become much more difficult. Communication might become more difficult due to problems with processing language, organizing thoughts and ideas, and difficulty in identifying social cues. Often people may also experience emotional changes like depression and anxiety, and sensory problems, like extreme sensitivity to light and sounds. Some of these symptoms may be present all the time or may be triggered in certain situations. The range and severity of symptoms due to a traumatic brain injury mean that it is important to seek help as quickly as possible if you suspect you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury.