What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The Mayo Clinic categorizes brain injuries into three ranges: mild traumatic brain injuries, moderate brain injuries and severe brain injuries.  Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. A mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily.  A more-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.  Brain injuries can result in many ways, including:

  • Concussion: The brain receives sudden impact or sudden movement or momentum change.
  • Contusion: Typically caused by direct impact to the head and leads to bleeding on the brain.
  • Coup-Contrecoup: Term used to describe contusion at the site of impact and the opposite side of the brain.
  • Diffuse Axonal: Caused by shaking or strong rotational forces (i.e. car accident). Injury is caused by extensive tearing of the brain nerve tissue.
  • Penetration: Objects penetrate the skull.

There are also brain injuries that qualify as acquired brain injuries (ABI) that are not typically due to external forces.  These are called anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries. Anoxic brain injuries result from the oxygen getting no oxygen.  Hypoxic brain injuries result from the brain getting some oxygen, but not enough to maintain normal function.

Traumatic brain injury lawyers often deal with brain injury caused by negligence from motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents and other types of accidents. Brain injuries can cause catastrophic health and financial consequences.

An experienced and skilled catastrophic injury lawyer must properly identify when a brain injury exists by thoroughly understanding the client’s medical records and developing a strategy that will obtain maximum compensation to pay for past and future medical care and past and future lost wages.  In addition to recovery for economic damages, a skilled brain injury lawyer will also be able to negotiate compensation for pain and suffering.

The seriousness and long-term effect of the brain injury will ultimately determine the strategy for the case, but those suffering from brain injuries as a result of another’s negligence should consult with an experienced brain injury lawyer to discuss his or her claim.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cowan & Hilgeman for their insight into brain injury law.

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