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What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are extremely serious injuries that can affect victims and their families for a lifetime. A traumatic brain injury is often caused by a blow to the head or a penetrating injury that causes a disruption in brain function. Some important points about brain injuries:

  • TBI symptoms may take time to manifest; always see a doctor immediately after taking a hard hit to the head, even if you believe you are not injured.
  • The term “mild brain injury” is misleading. Any injury to the brain can cause serious, long-term consequences, even if the injury is not life-threatening.
  • concussion is a brain injury. If you think, “I just have a concussion; I do not need a doctor,” think again. Left untreated, concussions can cause long-lasting effects.

A TBI can be mild or it can be severe. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of each.

Common Causes Of Brain Injuries

  • The leading cause of TBI for adolescents and adults is motor vehicle accidents.
  • Newborns also suffer brain injuries at birth due to a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process.
  • Children under age four and people over age 75 suffer brain injuries as a result of slip-and-fall accidents.

Due To Costly TBI Treatment Options, Finding The Right Attorney Is Crucial

Treatment and therapy options for traumatic brain injuries can be costly, which is why finding the best legal representation to fight on your behalf is so important. These options include:

  • Psychotherapy and physical therapy
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Regular office visits with a neurologist and other medical specialists
  • Medications to help alleviate the effects of the brain injury
  • Speech and occupational therapy
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Day treatment programs

Turning To An Established, Skilled Legal Team

At Doehrman Buba Ring, in Carmel, Indiana, our attorneys are nationally recognized for our in-depth knowledge, commitment and decades of experience regarding traumatic brain injuries.

We have worked closely with the Brain Injury Association of Indiana for more than 30 years in various leadership capacities and as a corporate sponsor.

Partner Tom Doehrman has lectured extensively throughout the country on the complexities of traumatic brain injury claims and has an extensive understanding of many areas involved with brain injuries, including:

  • Long term effects of TBIs
  • Long term prognosis for brain injuries
  • Medical care and brain injury therapies
  • Rehabilitation techniques and rehab facilities
  • Lifecare plans and vocational rehabilitation
  • Social Security and Medicaid
  • Pediatric brain injuries
  • Brain injury support groups
  • Guardianships and special needs trusts for brain injury victims

Questions About TBIs?

Below are answers to several commonly asked questions about traumatic brain injuries.

What Happens When You Have Brain Damage?

The first thing that typically happens when someone has brain damage is that they’ll receive a neurological exam, like an MRI or CT scan. Doctors will use these assessments to determine:

  • If the injured person has suffered any fractures to their skull and facial bones
  • If there is swelling and/or bleeding in the brain
  • If the injury is potentially life-threatening which may require extensive emergency medical procedures.

It is important to understand that even if an MRI or CT scan is read as normal that does not negate the existence of a brain injury. Many times the injury to the brain occurs at a microscopic level that is not examined in most MRIs and CT scans. If you have sustained a blow that causes you to be confused or unconscious, you most likely have sustained a concussion or brain injury.

How Long Do Brain Injury Symptoms Last?

Fortunately, most individuals who sustain a concussion can make a complete recovery in 3 to 6 months. However, a sizable minority of those who suffer a concussive brain injury will suffer from longer term problems which can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Increased irritability and emotionality
  • Cognitive changes causing an inability to “think straight”; in cases of severe injury, cognitive impairments can be so substantial that the victim cannot care for himself or herself
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Chronic headaches
  • Personality changes, including violent or irrational behavior; inability to tell right from wrong; or inability to empathize with others

Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the symptoms can last just a few weeks up to months and even years. Brain injuries offer require extended rehabilitation that is expensive and often difficult to obtain on your own.

Can Brian Damage Heal?

One of the major issues with brain damage is that brain cells do not regenerate once they are destroyed like almost all other cells within the body.

The major issue with the healing process of brain damage is that it simply takes time, and within the time frame of recovery a patient can undergo ebbs and flows that can be frustrating, and ultimately lead to more symptoms.

When it comes to healing a damaged brain, it’s crucial for the rehabilitation process to help the brain develop more alternative ways of functioning and essentially minimize the long-term effects of the brain injury. The brain injured individual will want to get as much rehabilitation as needed so that they can ultimately living life to their fullest potential post-injury.

What Are Treatment Options For Children With Brain Injuries?

Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can take expensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. In some instances, life-long care is required to maintain a good standard of living for the victim. We also understand the connection between pediatric brain injuries and education.

Children who suffer brain injuries often require additional education or educational opportunities tailored to the disabilities they have sustained as a result of their injury. Many times the accommodations that a child may need in school are set out in detail in a document known an Independent Educational Plan, also known as an IEP. It is critical that parents and caregivers know their rights and those of pediatric brain injury survivors. It is also critical parents understand what a TBI means for their children.

What Are Some Long-Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The long-term effects of a brain injury will depend on the severity of the injury. In a moderate or severe brain injury, the victim will typically lose consciousness, ranging from a minute-long blackout to a coma. The longer the victim is unconscious, the more serious the long-term effects typically are. Some brain injury victims do not awaken from a coma and remain in a persistent vegetative state; others may awaken but maintain minimal consciousness or awareness. The most serious injuries result in brain death.

However, even “mild” traumatic brain injuries cause serious issues, although they are not life-threatening. Traditionally, concussions have been viewed by many as minor injuries. In recent years, however, because of the examples from the NFL, soccer and our returning war heroes, it is now widely recognized that a concussion is a brain injury and can lead to significant long-term consequences.

Examples of the adverse effects that a brain injury, even a “mild” brain injury, can have on a person’s life include:

  • Memory loss
  • Increased irritability and emotionality
  • Cognitive changes causing an inability to “think straight”; in cases of severe injury, cognitive impairments can be so substantial that the victim cannot care for himself or herself
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Chronic headaches
  • Personality changes, including violent or irrational behavior; inability to tell right from wrong; or inability to empathize with others

Because these TBI symptoms can last indefinitely and actually get worse if not properly cared for, it is important that a person who has suffered a brain injury receive timely and appropriate medical care.

Contact Us To Learn More About Brain Injuries And Possible Recourse Options For Your Situation

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident, birth, slip and fall or other accident due to another’s negligence, we invite you to reach out to us to find out how we can help you.

Call our office in Carmel at 317-669-9445 or send us an email to schedule an appointment with one of our partners. We offer free consultations and serve all of Indianapolis.

It is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. There is a strict 2 year timeframe in Indiana to file a lawsuit for a brain injury.