Traumatic brain injury is more commonly known by its medical name as either a coup and/or contrecoup injury – the initial impact and the counter impact.
One of the leading causes of death in the U.S. for people under the age of 45 is traumatic brain injury. In fact, a TBI happens every 15 seconds. “Furthermore, there are roughly 5 million Americans that, right this moment, suffer from some form of TBI as a result of car crashes, falls and sports injuries,” explained Lance Sharp, an Austin personal injury lawyer at The Sharp Firm.
While one may be excused for thinking the skull is tough as nails, the brain on the other hand is a great deal more fragile, more fragile than we might think. “Not only is it one of the most complex organs we have, but it is also very soft and extremely vulnerable with a general consistency of slightly firm pudding,” outlined Sharp. It’s no wonder that it is susceptible to bruising injuries when it is smacked about inside the cranium.
The brain may be traumatized in two ways. In one instance the cerebral cortex may suffer a contusion after the head has hit a hard object or an object has struck the head (windshield or a bat). In another form of TBI, the deep white matter may suffer from something called diffuse axonal injury, as the result of the head being whiplashed about without striking a hard object, etc. “Depending on how serious the whiplash is, the axons may be stretched so far out of shape they are badly damaged,” said Laura Sharp, an Austin injury lawyer at The Sharp Firm.
The bruising of the brain, or the creation of the contusions, mostly happens to the tips of the frontal and temporal lobes, largely because this is where the brain tends to hit when the head impacts an object or is hit by an object. “No matter how mild, moderate or severe the TBI happens to be, these kinds of injuries must be seen and assessed by a medical professional. Time is of the essence in these cases as well,” added Laura Sharp.
The symptoms of TBI vary dramatically and are not always easy to identify, however some people may present with headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty balancing, a spacey feeling, poor motor skills, one pupil larger than the other, seizures, slurred speech, numbness and either/or a mood or personality change.
In all cases where TBI is suspected, contact a highly qualified personal injury lawyer immediately and discuss the case with them. The attorney will assess the case based on the details and advise how to proceed to justice. One such firm, with attorneys offering over 40 years of combined legal experience is The Sharp Firm in Austin, Texas.