A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a particularly concerning type of injury because suffering a TBI can make routine tasks difficult or impossible, cause problems with focus, cause changes to your personality, or result in many other issues and limitations. Because TBIs can be permanent and life-altering, if you suspect that someone has suffered a TBI, you should seek medical attention promptly. A doctor, nurse or other qualified medical professional can then assess your condition and rule out any underlying danger as even minor symptoms can sometimes indicate a life-threatening condition.
What is a TBI?
A TBI can occur in an innumerable amount of circumstances. As for the injury that is caused by the accident, the injury’s severity and nature will vary depending on the unique circumstances that are present or caused the injury.
At the most basic level, a TBI is an injury to the brain that occurs when an impact or force strikes or penetrates the skull. As alluded to, there are two classes of TBI injuries: closed head injuries and penetrating TBIs.
Closed head TBI injuries are common in car, truck and SUV crashes where the driver may hit his or her head on the steering wheel or dashboard. Similarly a physical altercation where on is punched, elbowed or kicked in the head would also be categorized as a closed head injury. When a blunt force impact to the skull occurs there is a tearing and shearing of nerve and other connective tissues. This nerve, tissue and muscle damage results in many of the signs and symptoms reported by those suffering a TBI.
While less common, penetrating injuries can be especially catastrophic as a foreign object typically passes through the skull and into the brain. The damage is often localized to the path the bullet or other object took through the skull. Many times these types of injuries destroy the brain structures they pass through resulting in permanent damage.
What Impairments can a TBI Cause?
A TBI injury can cause severe medical conditions not limited to hematoma, skull fracture, contusions, nerve damage, and lacerations. Other problems can include high intracranial pressure, fever, infection, epilepsy, and seizures. These types of problems with the brain can cause difficulty with:
- Cognitive functioning – Cognitive difficulties not limited to problems with memory and focus are reported by many who have suffered a TBI injury.
- Motor skills – if certain parts of the brain are damaged, the victim of a TBI may experience weakness in their arms and legs. Further they suffer from reduced coordination or balance.
- Communication – The individual may have trouble with figurative or symbolic speech. Further the pace of the conversation may become overwhelming for an individual with a TBI.
- Social Functioning — The injured individual may have difficulty with identifying or providing social signals such as facial expressions or hand gestures. The injured person may struggle to understand abstract topics of conversation or act appropriately by taking turns in the conversation.
- Executive functioning – These types of skills include planning for the future and understanding the consequences of your actions. People with a severe brain injury may also have difficulty with beginning tasks and seeing them through to completion.
Is there Treatment for a TBI?
A TBI can often be treated thereby improving the functionality and quality of life of the injured person. However treatment for a TBI must be individualized for the particular injuries and problems experienced by the injured person. Typically this means that treatment for a TBI requires the coordination of a team of specialists that may include:
- A medical doctor to monitor your progress throughout the rehabilitative therapy
- A speech language pathologist can work to improve the communicative ability of the injured person.
- A psychologist may help the individual and his or her family accept the traumatic events and prepare them to better assist the injured person.
- Assistive devices can also help the injured person regain strength or achieve additional functionality.
Contact Arkansas Traumatic Brain Injury Accident Attorney Ken Kieklak
If you have suffered a TBI or other serious injury, Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak may be able to help by recovering compensation for your injuries and damages. To schedule you free and confidential consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.