Traumatic brain injuries have been in the news frequently over the last few years, in large part due to the research doctors have undertaken on professional athletes and the harm they sustain during the course of their careers. For example, Seattle residents may be familiar with chronic traumatic encephalopathy – often referred to as CTE – and the involvement of past Seahawks players in the research project. While CTE and brain injuries happen during professional athletics, readers should know that they also happen to everyday people doing everyday things.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are serious injuries to the brain that can occur through impacts and penetration events. Car accidents, slips and falls, and other forms of accidents can cause them to happen. While some TBI victims make full recoveries, not all are so fortunate. Many live with the damaging effects of their injuries for the rest of their lives.
What causes TBI?
There are many possible causes of TBI. As mentioned, contact sports, accidents and falls are all possible causes of serious brain injuries. However, other causes may include:
- Abuse or criminal conduct, such as assault
- Being hit by an object, such as a ball or falling branch
- Injuries sustained during natural disasters
When TBI happens, fast and comprehensive care is important for a victim and their recovery.
Is TBI permanent?
Like other catastrophic injuries, TBI can happen in degrees. There are different severities of TBI that individuals may suffer. While mild TBI may be recoverable without lasting apparent damage, severe TBI may be life-altering or even life-threatening.
For example, severe TBI has been linked to long-term disability. Some individuals who suffer TBI cannot work independently or live on their own. They may struggle with their memory, focus, and concentration. They may suffer from impediments to their motor skills, sleep capacity, and emotional regulation. As readers can see, TBI can impact practically all aspects of victims’ lives. When they happen, there is sometimes only so much medical professionals can do to return victims to their pre-injury states.
What if TBI is caused by someone else?
In many cases, TBI result from the accidental or negligent behaviors and actions of others. As stated, many TBI happen in car accidents or when victims fall over items or surfaces that are not properly maintained. When TBI happen because of these causes, victims may have rights to seek compensation through personal injury claims. Civil litigation may give a victim a path to the recovery of their accident and injury-related losses, and legal counselors can help them prepare and fight their claims.