What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

As a motor vehicle accident attorney in New Port Richey, Florida, I have represented many clients who have experienced traumatic brain injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.

What causes traumatic brain injury?

It can occur from a blow to the head or a whiplash movement of the head as well. Your brain rests upon a brain stem and has the appearance of an ice cream cone. The brain and stem sit in a body of liquid called the cerebral spinal fluid. The brain and brain stem are encased in a bony structure called the skull. On the inside of the skull are bony protrusions.

When the head suffers trauma, the brain rocks back and forth on the stem within the fluid and can crash into the inside of the bony skull resulting in injury.

Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Concussion – A concussion occurs when the brain is jarred causing shock or trauma. A concussion is obvious when a person loses consciousness.  However, if a person does not lose consciousness, it does not rule out a concussion.  The person may feel dazed or off balance.  Other common symptoms of a concussion include decreased vision or memory, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and ringing in the ears.

Brain contusion – A brain contusion is a bruise to the brain. It causes bleeding in the brain which produces swelling. The bruise is internal, within the scull and therefore not visible, however, there could also be a visible bruise on the head cause by the same impact that caused the brain contusion.

Skull fracture – This is when the bone of the skull actually cracks.  The fractured bone can cut into the brain, causing bleeding or other damage such as lacerations and neurological problems.

Intracranial hematoma – An intracranial hematoma occurs when bleeding within the skull clots. A mass of clotted blood forms between the brain and the skull. This condition may not show up for a few days or even weeks. Thus, often times an initial CT scan at the emergency room does not pick up on this traumatic injury.

How to Diagnose a Traumatic Brain Injury

To diagnose a traumatic brain injury a doctor needs to perform a neurological exam. Additionally, there needs to be testing of your physical and mental reflexes. Finally, other tests such, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are diagnostic tests that should be performed as well.

If you have any questions concerning traumatic brain injuries or you would like to speak to a personal injury lawyer in New Port Richey about your specific case, please feel free to contact my office at 727-494-2008. We are always here for you!

– Chuck