Recently, a lot of information about traumatic brain injuries (commonly referred to as TBIs) have circulated in the news in relation to the National Football League. Many NFL players are starting to come forward with claims that they are experiencing TBI as a result of playing football. Several scientific and medical studies directly connect engaging in contact sports (specifically tackle football) to traumatic brain injuries. Although these claims started with just a few football players, the numbers are growing. More studies are showing that TBIs are a dangerous result of aggressive head to head contact.
While much attention has been given to the event of TBIs within the NFL, this is a common injury that can happen in a variety of situations. For this reason, it’s important to understand how a TBI can occur, what causes this type of injury, and how to recognize the symptoms and risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.
What Causes a TBI
A TBI is classified as a serious injury and can have lasting effects. This type of injury is caused by a violent blow to the head. The Centers for Disease Control specifically defines a TBI as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” It is noted that children and older adults are especially at risk for this type of injury.
There are many different situations that can result in a TBI. Oftentimes, a TBI will present itself after a person has been involved in a major car accident, has fallen and hit their head, or has been involved in contact sports. A traumatic brain injury is the result of the brain colliding with the inside of the skull due to a violent impact. This impact creates an injury to the brain, such as a bruise, bleeding, or tearing of the brain tissue. In extreme cases, if the skull is fractured, it might pierce the brain causing the potential for extreme damage.
Three Types of Head Injuries can Lead to a TBI
There are three general categories of head injuries that can result in a traumatic brain injury, all are unpleasant to read about, but important to recognize. These include:
- A crushing injury – This occurs when the skull is compressed between two objects and the brain is injured as a result.
- Penetrating brain injury – This typically happens when the skull is cracked, and the brain is directly impacted, bruised, or punctured.
- Closed head injuries – These are the most common and also have the highest potential to go unrecognized and untreated. A closed head injury happens as a result of direct force and causes the head to move quickly in one direction. The brain then is forcibly pushed up against the skull and this can cause significant damage to the cells.
Common Symptoms of a TBI
One of the most common initial symptoms of a TBI is a concussion. A concussion is actually classified as a type of TBI and is sometimes considered a minor injury, but in fact, each concussion should be treated as a serious injury. Concussions are also caused by violent force to the head. With this action, the brain bounces around and this can cause damage to the cells. Every concussion should be evaluated and treated by a medical professional, even if it seems like the symptoms are minor. It is common for symptoms to go unnoticed (and therefore, untreated), only to show up hours or even days later.
Other symptoms to watch for include:
- A headache that persists and will not go away
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion, slurred speech, inability to form sentences
- Eyes are unable to focus
- Lack of balance, difficulty walking
- Memory loss
- Mood swings and abrupt change in personality
Long-Term Risk of a TBI
Every TBI case is different, and the long-term effects of a brain injury can vary. Some of the effects of a TBI are more severe than others, but regardless, any injury to the brain is dangerous. Common long-term risk of this injury include seizures, the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease and significant memory loss, and other degenerative functions. In some cases, a TBI can be treated, but in many cases, time is the best indicator of if the injured party will improve. Significant life changes can escalate slowly, and many TBI victims find that these effects are not reversible.
While physical disability connected to a TBI is often easy to recognize, the emotional effects are harder to see. Many people who experience a TBI find themselves depressed due to a feeling of loss. A personality change can result in aggressive, moody, and even violent behavior. Sadly, the person that you knew before the traumatic brain injury can slowly disappear as time goes on. This is devastating for both the injured person and everyone that they are close with.
Contact a Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
A traumatic brain injury can be a terrifying experience and can have lasting results. If you or someone that you know has incurred a TBI due to negligence, the aftermath can be devastating. With a TBI, physical and cognitive abilities can be adversely affected. This can impact every single aspect of the victims’ life, from time off work, missed career opportunities to changes in personality, feelings of isolation, and depression. Expensive medical bills and lost wages can add to the financial stress of this type of injury. When you are going through this type of injury, you need the legal support of someone who has a deep understanding of personal injury law in Florida. An experienced lawyer who is well versed in TBI cases can help you through this challenging time.
A TBI can have a lasting impact on your life, and it’s important to receive the damages that you deserve to deal with this type of injury. The Florida Law Group, Tampa Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney, have worked tirelessly to collect just compensation for those who have been injured. Call us today at 813-463-8880 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.