Brain Injury Lawyers in Nevada
Shook & Stone - Brain Injury Attorneys
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyers in Nevada
Brain injury is a serious injury that can cause memory loss, physical disability, and personality changes. The brain is made up of grey matter which contains nerve cell bodies in the cerebral cortex, white matter that connects different parts of grey matter together, and cerebrospinal fluid. A hematoma (blood clot) may also occur due to trauma. The skull is made up of bone and hard tissue, protecting the brain from outside forces. With heavy blows to the head there are changes in the shape of the brain that occur due to the sheering forces it experiences.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to a disruption of the brain in some way through injury caused by a fall, injury, or an explosion. Such a severe brain injury can result in death, coma, and permanent disability. The severity of the injury depends on the intensity of the blow to the head and length of time of unconsciousness (a few minutes to a few hours).
TBI can occur when the head and neck are suddenly hit from a fall or an accident, a sports injury to the head, being struck by something like a baseball bat, or a bullet wound. The victim is more likely to experience trauma if they wear helmets with poor fit/design. A greater force will be needed to cause trauma. The brain can be damaged if there is penetration of an object into the skull, damage to the skull itself from a forceful blow, or dislocation and tearing of nerve cells in the brain.
Traumatic injuries result in electrical discharges across neurons (nerve cells) resulting in neuronal death. This results in short term memory loss, confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness. Some long term effects can be permanent such as reduced vision or blindness.
TBI is a common injury in the United States affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. In sports related injuries TBI is the leading cause of death in kids under the age of fourteen (Brain Injury Association).
Traumatic Brain Injury can be seen in car accidents, falls, and sports injuries.
Most severe brain injuries are caused by automobile accidents .Most people who suffer a fatal brain injury die within a few minutes of the accident. A percentage of those who don’t die right away will remain in an unconscious state for a short while before regaining consciousness again or slipping into a coma. Seventy five percent of victims do not regain full capacity and sustains a severe brain injury. An automobile accident can also cause life altering changes to the victim because of damage to the skull. Brain cell death can also occur due to a lack of oxygen supply because of facial and head injuries.
Traumatic brain injury caused by sports is often seen in popular contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, rugby, wrestling etc. Especially with repeated blows to the head over time with players colliding with one another or with the boards or ground. The most common injuries include: concussion, spinal cord injury, multiple fractures, eye and bowel damage due to body checking in hockey etc. Even being a spectator at a sporting event where a player is injured can result in serious trauma to that person because of his proximity.
Concussion occurs when there is impact on the head or an object colliding with the head. The person experiences a loss of consciousness, drowsiness, headaches, and vomiting. Such injuries often result in short or long term disabilities including permanent brain damage.
How is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI )Treated?
Mild Brain Injuries: Bleeding inside the skull and a severe injury to nerves can be treated by surgery. The doctor will often drain any excess fluids that may have seeped into damaged areas of the brain. Infection is also a threat so antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for treatment. Depending on the extent of damage, physical therapy is sometimes required to help restore vision, speech etc.
Traumatic Brain Injury caused by accidents such as automobile or sports injury often result in permanent disabilities. The treatment will therefore include the same therapy mentioned for mild brain injuries above. However, medication may be required because of lingering pain even after the initial trauma has healed and surgery may also be needed to correct any issues that have been caused by the injury such as cutting away bone or irritating nerves with spinal cord deformities.
Traumatic Brain Injury resulting from a gunshot wound or a blow to the head while driving can be treated surgically; however, such treatments are often undertaken only in extreme cases when any alternative treatment attempts have failed. Neurosurgery is usually recommended after the patient has gained consciousness and an MRI scan reveals whether surgery would help restore the patient to a stable condition.
Pain relief medication is essential for Post Concussion Syndrome because the patient may experience headaches, nausea etc. Drugs are often given to help relieve tension on the brain and to reduce its swelling. Patients suffering from convulsions as a result of TBI are subject to several treatments with anti seizure drugs. Such treatment can continue for up to two years after the injury.
Long Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The immediate effects of traumatic brain injury can be reduced by proper treatment but the long term consequences are a different matter altogether. Long term effects are those which occur several months or even years after the accident and can result in permanent disabilities if not treated at an early stage. Any TBI that results in a hole or malformation of the skull will require repeated surgical procedures to repair. The most common complications following TBI are:
Respiratory failure – Such effects occur when there is damage to the brain stem and upper spinal cord with some sort of breathing disorder like pneumonia, lung/chest infections etc.
Seizures – Such injuries occur when the brain sustains a blow which causes neurons to misfire. The seizures can lead to long term disabilities if treatment is not sought as quickly as possible. Concussions are one of the most common causes for such epilepsy like seizures.
Cardiovascular failure – A TBI can cause pressure on the brain to create cardiac issues.
Coma – Insufficient blood supply to the brain can lead to this condition.
Loss of vision/deafness – This may occur when there is damage to the lobe or cortex which switches off sensory stimuli from the ears or eyes. In such cases, treatment may involve replacing the damaged body part with an artificial device.
Memory loss – People who have suffered a TBI often experience memory problems which usually worsen as time passes by. The brain cannot function properly to recall details of events or information and any repeat trauma can lead to further memory loss and permanent disabilities.
Depression – Such injuries are often the cause behind depression in patients which may also require psychiatric medications along with other treatment.
Chronic Pain – TBI caused by accident can lead to paralysis and chronic pain issues because of long term damage to nerve receptors and muscles. Such issues will worsen if not treated at an early stage.
Personality and behavior changes – The victim may experience an abnormal personality or behavioral change as a result of the injury.
Gait abnormalities – Patients can suffer from gait abnormalities which affect their movements due to damage to certain parts of the brain. Such issues include difficulty in walking, writing or speaking.
Bladder and Bowel incontinence – Such conditions result when the brain is damaged which causes a loss of control over such functions.
CVA – Cerebrovascular accidents are caused by ruptured blood vessels in the brain following blunt trauma to the head. This condition can lead to other disorders like reduced brain function, loss of memory and speech problems.
In the case of any injury, both physical or mental it is important to seek proper medical care as soon as possible because delays can often lead to permanent disabilities.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in any kind of accident which causes damage to the skull or brain tissue. The severe extent of such injuries can range from simple concussions, loss of consciousness to long term disabilities and even death.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
Here are some statistics about TBI:
There are many support groups available such as TBI Links which can help patients who have suffered head injuries due to accidents or falls. Such groups will provide encouragement, emotional support and tips about living with TBI successfully.
If you have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to the negligence of another or while at work Shook & Stone want’s to hear from you.
We are advocates for those who have been injured and need help.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation in wrongful death claim or lawsuit. You can fill out our case evaluation form or call us at (702) 570-0000.