What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is caused by a bump or blow to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI could be as mild as a brief change in consciousness or as severe as a protracted period of unconsciousness or memory loss.
About 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations or deaths are associated with TBI annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also reports that TBI contributes to the deaths of more than 50,000 people per year in the U.S.
Falls account for about 40 percent of TBIs that are related to emergency department visits, according to CDC figures. About 15 percent of TBIs stem from “unintentional blunt trauma,” which includes being struck in the head by an object. Motor vehicle crashes are linked to about 14 percent overall, but car, truck and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of TBI for people in the 15 to 44 age range. Stories of TBIs related to participation in sports are legion.
The effects of TBI may last anywhere from a few days to years, perhaps even the rest of one’s life.
“When a brain injury occurs,” writes the Brain Injury Association of America, “the functions of the neurons, nerve tracts, or sections of the brain can be affected. If the neurons and nerve tracts are affected, they can be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages that tell the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels, and moves the body. Brain injury can also change the complex internal functions of the body, such as regulating body temperature; blood pressure; bowel and bladder control. These changes can be temporary or permanent. They may cause impairment or a complete inability to perform a function.”
What kind of compensation is available for victims of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Victims may be entitled to compensation for TBIs that the injured person did not cause, which is the reason that a skilled traumatic brain injury attorney is essential to the process of obtaining the maximum damage award from the responsible party’s insurance company. An attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injury cases is advantageous because the insurance company’s attorney surely will have defense attorneys adept at tamping down the amount of a TBI claim.
An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney is well-resourced to negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the victim and can perform other vital functions, from including consulting medical experts, securing witnesses, documenting the extent of the injuries, staving off medical bill collectors, and, when applicable, establishing a trust.
A traumatic brain injury claim can be costly, and receiving a just claim, as the insurance company protects its own interest, can be a complicated process that a traumatic brain injury lawyer knows how to navigate.