Few injuries have more dramatic consequences on someone’s life than traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A brain injury could affect your ability to move, memory and personality, and even your senses. A TBI’s emotional and financial effects can be as severe as their physical effects. Because brain injuries are often permanent, patients frequently need to adapt to a new way of life. They might even need in-home care to help them perform basic tasks.
If someone’s negligence caused you to suffer a traumatic brain injury in Lee County, the Stokes Stemle, LLC team could help you fight for compensation. Our Opelika traumatic brain injury lawyers will handle all the legal work while you focus on your medical treatment. And because we don’t charge a fee unless we win, you won’t have to worry about the expense of retaining experienced, committed representation for your case.
TBI Statistics in Alabama
The Alabama Trauma Registry (ATR) recorded nearly 4,000 head or spinal cord neurological injuries in one recent year. Of those cases, over 3,400 involved traumatic brain injuries. The ATR also noted that blunt force trauma caused about 93 percent of TBIs statewide that year, while objects penetrating the skull caused nearly 4 percent.
Common Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Symptoms from a TBI will vary depending on the severity of the injury. The Mayo Clinic reports that some signs of mild brain injuries in adults include:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Feeling unusually tired or drowsy
- Difficulty speaking
- Feeling dizzy or unbalanced
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in senses of smell or taste
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Unexplained mood changes
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Losing consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
The symptoms of a severe traumatic brain injury may include:
- Persistent headaches or headaches that get worse
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
- Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Trouble waking up from sleep
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Strong feelings of confusion or agitation
- Slurred speech
- Losing consciousness for several minutes or longer
One challenge in diagnosing traumatic brain injuries is that many symptoms resemble the effects of other injuries or illnesses. Seek help immediately if you notice the above symptoms to receive prompt treatment or rule out a more serious injury.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are two main types of traumatic brain injuries:
- Blunt force injuries– These traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain experiences a hard blow or a sudden, sharp change in momentum. Traumatic brain injuries caused by blunt force may cause few external symptoms, making them challenging to diagnose.
- Penetration injuries– A penetration injury occurs when something breaks through the skull and damages brain tissue. Skull fragments from a penetration injury can cause additional harm after the initial blow. Many penetration injuries are fatal without immediate medical treatment.
You can also classify TBIs by their effects and the specific part of the brain that was injured. Using these guidelines, some common types of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Concussions – A concussion is a bruise on the brain that forms after colliding with the skull’s interior. This can happen when the brain experiences a drastic, unexpected change in momentum.
- Skull fractures– A hard blow to the skull can cause it to crack and splinter. These bone splinters can damage brain tissue and blood vessels, while cracks in the skull can put unsafe pressure on the brain.
- Edemas – An edema injury occurs when something puts pressure on the brain as it rests against the skull. This pressure can cause significant brain damage or death if patients do not receive immediate medical treatment.
- Hematomas and hemorrhages– Both hematomas and hemorrhages involve bleeding within the brain. Hematomas usually result from blood clots, causing blood vessels to burst and blood to pool within the brain. Hemorrhages typically stem from an external blow, which can cause blood to seep out of the brain and skull.
- Shear injuries– Also known as a diffuse axonal injury, a shear injury occurs when something shakes or twists the brain. The violent force can cause nerve fibers within the brain to tear.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries– A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when an external force causes the brain to rattle within the skull. As the brain moves back and forth, each impact against the skull can cause a bruise and give the victim multiple concussions at once.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
One reason traumatic brain injuries are so widespread in Alabama is that they can result from any hard hit to the head. Some common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Sports accidents
- Shootings and physical assaults
Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury may include:
- Shortened attention span
- Memory problems
- Losing sense of time and space
- Difficulty with problem-solving
- Impaired judgment
- Changes in the senses
- Vision problems
- Paralysis or other issues with coordination and movement
- Difficulty writing, reading, speaking or understanding what people say
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Behavior control problems
Talk to an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Opelika, AL Today
The Opelika traumatic brain injury attorneys with Stokes Stemle, LLC have the experience and tenacity to help you pursue maximum compensation. We can meet with you wherever you are and start on your case right away. So contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about what you could get.