In recent years, many Americans have learned about traumatic brain injury from media reports on veterans returning from war and former professional athletes who suffer the consequences of TBIs long after sustaining an injury on the field. TBIs also affect amateur and student athletes as well as victims of car accidents.
TBIs are a category of injury that occurs when the brain is subject to sudden trauma. For example, TBIs can occur when the head violently strikes an object or when an object pierces the skull and directly damages the brain. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of trauma. Minor TBIs can mean nothing more than a few minutes of dizziness. More serious TBIs can cause unconsciousness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, loss of coordination, seizures, confusion, behavioral changes and problems with memory, critical thinking and attention.
Repeated TBIs can magnify and accelerate the onset of symptoms. Many result in permanent disabilities. The most serious TBIs lead to loss of most cognitive function, survival in a vegetative state, or death.
Through blunt force trauma or severe whiplash, automobile accidents carry a serious risk of TBI for vehicle drivers and occupants. Victims of crash TBIs often have their lives turned upside down by the experience.
Treating TBIs is difficult because diagnosis is so hard. Even if the severity and consequences of an injury are well understood, no magic pill exists to undo the damage. Nevertheless, TBIs should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Sometimes surgery is required.
Victims of a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another driver may be entitled to compensation for such injuries.