Accidents and falls are two leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). When there’s a blow to the head, the impact can be penetrative, leading to various types of injuries, for example, a gunshot wound. In other cases, the effect is non-penetrating, such as what commonly happens in a car accident.
Recovery from a traumatic brain injury depends on the extent of the damage. Treatment can also be costly, spiraling into thousands of dollars. You deserve compensation if you or your loved one sustained a TBI due to another person’s negligence. A personal injury lawyer in Illinois can help you file a compensation claim for physical injuries, medical expenses, and other damages.
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBIs distract the brain’s normal functions after a blow, jolt, or bump to the head.
One or more of the following clinical signs constitute an interruption of normal brain function:
- Changes in the mental state, for example, being disoriented, slowness in thinking, or inability to concentrate
- Muscle weakness, alterations in speech, loss of vision, and other focal neurological deficits
- Amnesia to events before or after the accident
- Reducing or complete loss of consciousness
Stages of Traumatic Brain Injury
The effects of TBI on consciousness progress in four abnormal states as follows:
- Minimally conscious condition characterized by highly altered consciousness
- Vegetative state where there’s a loss of consciousness and awareness of the surrounding environment. It also features unresponsive alertness, movements, and groans. The condition progresses to a persistent vegetative state if it continues for more than a few weeks.
- Coma characterized by unawareness, unconsciousness, and inability to respond to factors like light and pain. The condition can progress for a few days or weeks, leading to recovery, a vegetative state, or death.
- Brain death or loss of measurable brain function and activity for a long time because of lack of blood flow to the brain
TBIs can lead to loss of earning capacity, lower the quality of life, and cause permanent disability. You deserve compensation for this and more, and a Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and fight for your rights.
What Are the 8 Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Physicians group traumatic brain injuries into closed and open injuries. Closed TBIs don’t cause fractures in the skull, while open ones break and penetrate the skull, exposing it to various elements. Whether closed or open, TBIs fall into the following primary types:
The injury entails bleeding in and around the brain due to the rupture of a blood vessel. Hematomas are of various types, depending on where the leaking blood collects in the layers of the brain’s protective membranes.
These are the outermost, middle, and innermost layers. When there’s bleeding in the brain, the condition is intracerebral hematoma and can cause damage to the surrounding tissue.
Concussions are mild and temporary injuries but could take several months to heal although a relatively small percentage of people suffer permanent injuries from concussion. They result from various types of impacts like a jolt, blow, or bump to the head, weapons blast, or motor vehicle accidents. They also happen when a strong force strikes the head and causes the brain to shift in the direction of the force. Permanent injuries are not well understood by most physicians and require very nuanced proof to substantiate, which is why hiring a lawyer after suffering this type of injury is very important.
If a second concussion closely follows the first, it leads to further damage to the brain, known as second impact syndrome. Such can cause permanent brain damage or death in some instances.
Ischemia is the insufficient blood supply to specific parts of the brain. Most TBI patients often suffer from decreased blood supply to deficient levels. The situation is crucial because TBI patients are susceptible to the slightest changes in blood flow. Fluctuating blood pressure levels may also lead to adverse effects.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
DAI is one of the most severe TBIs caused by twisting or shaking the brain inside the skull, which can occur as a result of any sudden, strong movement of the head like whiplash. The cerebral tissue slides back and forth, causing the axons or connecting fibers in the brain to tear. The result is a disruption in the conveying of messages in the brain and consequent brain function loss. The severity of the damage depends on the tear sizes and location.
The injuries can lead to microscopic alterations that CT scans and MRIs don’t necessarily show, yet are scattered throughout the brain. They can occur with or without an associated mass lesion.
Contusions often accompany concussions and imply a bruise on the brain or a mild form of bleeding. A common type of contusion is where an injury affects two parts of the brain; a condition called a coup-contrecoup injury.
A contusion that doesn’t heal on its own can become a hematoma. The damage depends on its size, location, and recovery time. Doctors can remove it through surgery.
A skull fracture is a break or crack in one or more of the skull’s bones. Fractures happen when blunt force trauma damages the blood vessels, membrane, and brain under the fracture. Fractures at the base of the head can lead to complications because they affect arteries, nerves, and other structures.
If the fractures get to the sinuses, they can cause a leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the ears and nose. A part of the bone can press on or into the brain, leading to a depressed skull fracture.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
CTE is a progressive neurological disorder whose disorders may include problems with communication, understanding, and thinking. It also affects movement and leads to irritability, confusion, and depression. The condition is common in victims with exposure to multiple blows to the head and is often a delayed consequence.
CTE injuries are common in retired boxers, with symptoms like lack of coordination, memory problems, tremors, and dementia. The symptoms may lead to post-traumatic dementia (PTD), which shares similar symptoms with CTE.
Penetrating Brain Injury
Penetrative brain injuries occur when an object pierces the skull and brain, for example, a bullet. The result of penetrative brain injuries includes seizures, which can likely lead to epilepsy after a TBI, more than other types of brain injuries.
Can I Recover Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries in Chicago, IL?
You risk dealing with severe health and life consequences if you sustain a traumatic brain injury. TBIs can lead to permanent physical damage even if the injury may fall on the milder side of the spectrum. You can sustain profound complications that affect your career, finances, and lifestyle.
A traumatic brain injury lawyer in Chicago, IL, can help you file a compensation claim for the damages, both economic and non-economic. These include medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and ongoing pain and suffering.
A Compassionate TBI Lawyer Helping You Get the Compensation You Deserve
As a traumatic brain injury victim, you will benefit from having an Illinois traumatic brain injury attorney on your side. A skilled lawyer will help you understand what is usually a very frustrating and confusing predicament, while also fighting for the compensation you deserve due to another person’s negligence. The lawyer can assess the scope of the injury and evaluate liability and the settlement amount you deserve.
At our firm, we offer skilled, compassionate, and experienced traumatic brain injury legal representation. We want to handle the legal aspect of your case as you focus on healing and recovery. We understand the mechanics of brain injury cases and can fight to help you recover the rightful compensation. Book a meeting with us to discuss your accident and injury.