Traumatic Brain Injury and When it Occurs


Everyone is at risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially older adults and children. Those who survive a TBI might face effects that last for a few days to disabilities which can last the rest of their lives. The effects of TBI include impaired movement, thinking or memory, sensation, or emotional functioning. These issues do not only affect individuals, they can also have lasting effects on families and communities.


What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

TBI can be caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain’s normal function. Not all jolts or blows to the head result in TBI. The severity of this condition may range from “mild” to “severe” and most TBIs that occur each year are mild and they are commonly called as concussions.


Depending on the source of the trauma, TBIs may be classified into two:


Open Head Injuries

These are also called penetrating injuries – injuries that occur when an object enters the brain and causes damages to different parts. The symptoms vary depending on the part of the brain damaged. This can happen, for instance, a bullet shot hits the head.


Closed Head Injuries

These injuries are caused by a blow to the head. An example for this would be when the head strikes the dashboard or windshield in a car accident.


Regardless of the cause of the trauma, TBIs can result in two types of damage to the brain:

  • Primary Brain Damage – damage that occurs at the time of impact (bleeding, skull fracture, blood clots)

  • Secondary Brain Damage – damage that evolves over time following the trauma (increased blood pressure within the skull, brain swelling, seizures)


What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The following are the identified leading causes of TBI:

  • Motor vehicle and pedestrian-related accidents

  • Falls

  • Collision-related events (being struck by or against)

  • Violent assaults

Other leading causes of TBI are sport-related injuries as well as explosive blasts or military combat injuries. Acquiring a brain injury can predispose an individual to additional brain injuries even before the symptoms of the first one have been resolved completely.


How is Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

TBI can be diagnosed by physicians based on a combination of clinical presentation, patient reports, and brain imaging studies (MRIs and CT scans). A form of TBI known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can be diagnosed only on the basis of the individual’s (or that person’s caregiver) report as well as the clinical signs and symptoms. Brain imaging findings are normal in mTBI.


Depending on the needs of an individual, a patient can be under the care of the following: physicians, speech-language pathologists, doctors, nurses, audiologists, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, employers, teachers, and social workers.


If you or anyone you know is suffering from traumatic brain injury and is in need of legal assistance to obtain the compensation you deserve, call us at 1.855.905.9222 for a free consultation.