Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys Serving Millersville, Maryland
An Overview Of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used to describe the damage to the brain suffered as a result of a sudden physical force. The human brain consists of billions of microscopic fibers, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid. While the exterior skull is smooth, the inner surface contains ribbing and pronounced bony structures. Impact with these inner surfaces of the skull causes tearing and bruising that results in brain damage.
Injuries occur when the momentum of the brain causes it to impact against a skull that has been decelerated. Typically, TBI is caused by the impact of the head with an object, such as when hitting a windshield or the dashboard of a car. In such cases, the injury is considered to be a closed head injury. The closed head injury also may occur when the brain undergoes severe forward or backward shaking, such as with infants who are mishandled or in cases involving whiplash suffered during an automobile accident. TBI can also be caused by a penetrating head injury, whereby an object such as a bullet penetrates through the skull and into the brain. Closed head injuries present unique challenges in litigation since they often will demonstrate no obvious external symptoms of injury, even though the damage to the brain can be severe. TBI does not refer to brain injuries or defects that are hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma, toxic substances, or disease-producing organisms.
Indications of TBI
Though closed head injuries are not objectively apparent at the time of an accident, common indications that TBI may result are loss of consciousness, inability to recall events immediately before or after the accident, and alteration in a mental state immediately following, such as feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused. After an accident, common symptoms of TBI in adults are the following:
Persistent neck pain
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Lapses in attention, perception, judgment, or information processing
Difficulty with memory, concentration, or decision making
The trouble with cognition, abstract concepts, and time and space relationship
Limitations on reading and writing skills
Slowness in thinking, speaking or taking action
Getting lost or easily confused
Persistent low-grade headaches
Feeling tired all the time, lacking energy or motivation
Problems associated with sleep, such as insomnia or oversleeping
Reduced strength, endurance, and coordination
The onset of tremors or swallowing problems
Feeling light-headed or dizzy
Onset of seizures
Volatility in your mood — apathy, irritability, anxiety, and/or depression
Difficulty maintaining your balance
Increased sensitivity to sounds, light, or distractions
Reduction of sense of smell or taste
Because children are less aware of their habits and normal functioning than adults, it is important for adults to monitor children carefully if it is suspected that they are suffering from a TBI. Symptoms to look for in children include:
Loss of energy or tiring easily
Reduced interest in favorite toys or activities
Irritability or crankiness
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Changes in the manner in which the child plays, both alone and with others
Difficulties at school
Deterioration of recently learned skills
Loss of balance or instability while walking
The exact effects on an individual who suffers a TBI will vary greatly, depending on the force of impact the brain suffered and the location of the injury on the brain. It is important to obtain a thorough medical examination following any accident so as to immediately determine all injuries received. To appreciate the extent of an injury, it is helpful to understand the medical scales used to measure injuries involving TBI.
The Glasgow Coma Scale rates a patient’s ability to open his/her eyes, and respond to verbal commands and responses. Each level of response indicates the degree of brain injury.
Glasgow Coma Scale
Open to verbal command
Open to pain
Best motor response to command
Obeys verbal command
Best motor response to pain
Flexion – withdrawal
Flexion – abnormal
Best verbal response
Oriented and converses
Disoriented and converses
The lowest score is a 3 which indicates no response from the patient. A person who is alert and oriented would be rated at 15.
For more information on Indications of TBI In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking and talk to Arnold F. Phillips by calling today. We serve the areas of Millersville, Cumberland, McHenry, Garrett County, and Allegany County, Maryland.