Traumatic Brain Injuries: Causes and Your Career
The human brain is one of the world’s most complex structures, manmade or otherwise. Despite generations of neurologists dedicating their lives to the study of this natural marvel, science is far from unlocking all its mysteries. Accordingly, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be amongst the most severe injuries you can suffer in a car accident, as an injury to the brain can affect every aspect of your life depending on its location and severity. One of the most frustrating aspects of suffering from TBI can be the inability to resume your career, which can entitle you to substantial compensation.
The Nature of TBI
The Mayo Clinic defines a traumatic brain injury1 as an injury that “occurs when an external mechanical force cause brain dysfunction.” This can include a violent blow or jolt to the head, which causes the soft tissues of the brain to impact the skull. There are generally two types of traumatic brain injuries: mild and severe. A mild traumatic brain injury can cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells, but these injuries will normally heal over time. However, a severe traumatic brain injury can cause serious physical damage, such as internal bleeding, bruising, and torn brain tissues, which may cause long-term injuries or even death.
Because the brain is so complex, TBI can result in an almost unlimited range of symptoms. These symptoms generally fall into three categories: physical, sensory, and cognitive. If you are suffering from a serious to severe TBI, the following physical symptoms are common:
- Loss of consciousness for more than a few minutes;
- Persistent and worsening headaches;
- Vomiting and nausea;
- Brain fluids draining from the nose or ears;
- Dysfunction in your hands and feet; and
- General loss of coordination.
- Further, you are likely to suffer from the following cognitive (i.e., mental) symptoms:
- Extreme confusion;
- Unusual or aggressive behavior;
- Slurred speech; or
If you are suffering from these symptoms following a car or truck accident, it is important to seek medical help immediately. However, if you had an infant or child in the car at the time of the accident, you should always seek medical attention from a qualified pediatrician, as children’s brains are often softer and even a minor accident can result in brain injury. Call a doctor if you notice any of the following persistent symptoms in your children:
- Change in eating or nursing habits;
- Inability to be consoled;
- Inability to pay attention;
- Loss of interest in favorite activities; or
- Drastic changes in sleeping habits.
Types of TBI Caused by Car Accidents
One of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are car and truck accidents, and such accidents are the leading cause of brain injury hospitalizations. If you are involved in an accident, it is often the case that your body will continue to move even when the vehicle has come to a stop. For example, in a rear-end accident the energy from the impact will spread throughout the vehicle, causing you to “jerk” forward and then backward out of sync with the vehicle itself. This causes “whiplash,” which occurs when the head and brain are twisted as the car decelerates following a crash. Because the nerve cells that your brain uses to communicate with other cells in the body are very delicate, they may be stretched during an accident, which affects your brain’s ability to communicate with and control certain parts of your body.
Another such injury caused by severe, high-speed crashes, such as T-bone or intersection crashes, is called “Diffuse Axonal Injury.” This type of injury is seen in almost half of all TBI injuries, but it is the most fatal. It occurs when the brain, which sits in fluids, moves back and forth violently within the skull, crashing against the bone. This can cause the brain tissues to shear, which results in swelling, decreased blood flow, and brain death.
TBI and Your Career
According to the Social Security Administration,2 a severe traumatic brain injury can take away your ability to communicate, ambulate, and lift, carry or grasp. It can further prevent you from taking care of or feeding yourself, and you may require constant household assistance. Even if you do not have a physical career, losing your ability to communicate effectively will impact almost any profession. People who are suffering from TBI can also lose the ability to concentrate and retain memories, which may drastically affect your ability to work in an office setting.
Although some injuries will heal with time and rehabilitation, many injuries may leave you with lifelong symptoms and force you to consider a career change. If you suffer from a lack of concentration due to TBI, you may not be able to perform in an office environment. This may force you to switch to a more physical and interactive career that does not require long stretches of concentration. The opposite is also true. If you suffer from physical effects due to nerve damage such that you cannot control certain aspects of your body, you may be forced to alter careers so that you no longer have to perform physical tasks. This can drastically impact your earning capacity and ability to support yourself and your family, especially if you are beginning anew. These damages, however, are compensable, and an experienced Florida brain injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call a Tampa Traumatic Brain Injury Law Firm
Traumatic brain injuries can result in the loss of a loved one in more ways than one. Whether such an injury resulted in coma, severe personality changes, or a vegetative state, some fates may seem worse than death. But there is hope. The Dolman Law Group can help you get the compensation you deserve to care for and improve the life of a loved one suffering from traumatic brain injury. Further, we may be able to assist you in obtaining lifetime compensation to make up for your need to change careers or your inability to work. The Dolman Law Group is your premier traumatic brain injury firm in Tampa, Florida, and our attorneys are here to ensure you get all of the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (727) 451-6900 for a free, no-risk consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765