1. What causes brain injury most frequently?
- Car accidents, which cause about half of all brain injuries
- Slips and falls
- Accidents such as falls from bicycles and playground equipment and all-terrain vehicle accidents
- Firearm-related incidents
- Violence-related injuries – abuse, shaken baby syndrome
2. What is traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head or a penetrating brain injury. The force of the blow or injury may alter or diminish the injured person’s state of consciousness and cognitive abilities or physical functions. The injury can also disturb the injured person’s behavioral or emotional state.
3. What are some of the effects on a person with a brain injury?
Physical impacts caused by traumatic brain injuries include:
- Balance problems
- Speech impairments
- Muscle spasticity
- Double vision or blindness
- Loss of smell or taste
Cognitive effects include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty with communication
- Trouble concentrating
- Impaired judgment
- Spatial disorientation
- Inability to do more than one thing at a time
Emotional effects include:
- Increased anxiety
- Mood swings
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Impulsive behavior
4. What happens to a person after a brain injury?
After a brain injury, a variety of other injuries may occur, including:
- Hematoma (epidural, subdural and/or intra-cerebral)
- Brain swelling or edema
- Coma (There are degrees of comatose states. These degrees are quantified in what is known as a Glasgow score.)
- Increased intracranial pressure
- Cerebral vasospasm
- Intracranial infection
5. How do doctors diagnose a brain injury?
Brain injury is diagnosed when the patient has evidence of gross damage to the brain, such as hemorrhaging, swelling or contusions. A CAT-scan (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect these physical findings. When the damage is minimal, doctors can make a diagnosis by obtaining history from the patient, observing the symptoms reported by the patient and through the results of neuropsychological testing.
6. What medical exams are used to determine if someone has suffered a brain injury?
Patients with brain injuries require frequent diagnostic tests and other assessments, starting with a neurological exam, which includes a series of questions and simple commands to see if the patient can open their eyes, move, speak and understand what is going on around them.
Other tests include:
- X-ray: Pictures to look at bones to see if they are broken or fractured
- CT scan (CAT scan): A specialized X-ray that takes pictures of the brain or other parts of the body
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: A large magnet and radio waves are used, instead of X-rays, to take pictures of the tissues of the body
- Angiogram: A test to look at the blood vessels in the brain. Using a catheter, dye is put into an artery that supplies blood to the brain. This test can tell if the blood vessels are damaged
7. What group is most at risk for sustaining a brain injury?
Anyone can suffer a brain injury. However, statistics show that males are two times more likely than females to sustain a TBI. Typically, males ages 15-24 have the highest rates of brain injury. Individuals who have already suffered a brain injury are also at an increased risk of having another brain injury.
8. What are cerebral contusions?
Cerebral contusions, or bruises on the brain, are caused by the brain’s striking the inside wall of the skull. Swelling of the brain is a factor with severe cerebral contusions. If swelling is extensive, the injured person can experience severe headache, dizziness and vomiting, and one pupil may be larger than the other. Depending on which area of the brain suffers damage, the person’s ability to think, move, feel, speak, control emotions, see, hear and remember may be impaired. The injured person can also become agitated, restless or irritable.
9. How many people sustain a TBI each year?
An estimated 8 million people suffer brain injuries each year in the United States. At least 2 million of those injured will sustain permanent impairments. For someone with a brain injury, things that once were easy and normal can become difficult and strange. Brain injuries can often make someone less efficient at their job and jeopardize their livelihood.
10. I have suffered a brain injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault. Should I contact a lawyer?
Yes. It is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case as soon as possible. The accident or injury must be investigated promptly or valuable evidence can be lost forever. In addition, New York has a statute of limitations on how long after an injury or accident you can bring a complaint against the other party.
Put Our Syracuse Brain Injury Attorneys to Work For You
Contact Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, today to discuss your brain injury case. Put our years of legal experience to work for you. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation about your claim. It’s easy. Fill out our online contact form or call us now at (315) 314-5390 or (877) 713-8573. We take calls 24 hours a day. Remember, you owe no legal fee unless we win your case.