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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.

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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

  • Blurred vision

  • 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

Eye movements


Open spontaneously


Open to verbal command


Open to pain


No response


Best motor response to command

Obeys verbal command


Best motor response to pain

Localizes pain


Flexion – withdrawal


Flexion – abnormal




No response


Best verbal response

Oriented and converses


Disoriented and converses


Inappropriate words


Incomprehensible sounds


No response



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.