Every March, the nation recognizes National Brain Injury Awareness Month: a month devoted to raising awareness of the various types and causes of brain injuries, and support for the victims of these injuries. The top Chicago brain injury attorneys of Passen & Powell recognize this important month, as an important part of our mission to help the public understand how common these injuries actually are, and how much work is needed to help victims deal with the life-altering effects. Thus, each year we recognize National Brain Injury Awareness Month by posting articles explaining the various types of brain injury, the typical causes of these injuries, how they affect victims, how they are treated, and how the victims can often bring legal claims — sorry we’re a little late this year.
There are two major types of brain injury, both of which we will explore in depth throughout the month: traumatic brain injury (also known as TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury goes by many names, including acquired brain injury and simply head injury. TBI is caused by trauma to the head and brain. Most commonly, this occurs as a result of an accident, but it can occur as a result of repeated small, intentional blows (such as “heading” the ball in soccer) or through acts of violence. Some of the most common causes of TBI are car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, falls, and sporting injuries. But most traumatic brain injuries – more than half – are caused by motor vehicle (car and truck) accidents.
Traumatic brain injury can be very mild, or very serious. This depends on the victim’s own susceptibility and physical condition, as well as the severity and position of the blow to the head. When a victim suffers a mild TBI, he may experience only brief dizziness or confusion, may “see stars,” or may briefly black out (lose consciousness).
Many mild TBIs fall under the heading of concussion. Although concussions are generally mild and the victim can recover with proper care, concussions can leave a victim vulnerable to more serious TBI and other brain conditions in the future. Victims of mild TBI should, at a minimum, take it easy and avoid vigorous or dangerous activity for several days.
Severe traumatic brain injury, by contrast, can lead to permanent problems, including mental or physical disability, and even death. Victims of severe TBI often suffer from a longer loss of consciousness, long-term memory loss, personality alterations, long-term or permanent cognitive disability, long-term impaired judgment, and the loss of motor skills.
Victims thus frequently have extensive medical bills, the expenses of long-term therapy, and decreased earning potential. These costs can often be recovered, however, with the aid of an experienced brain injury attorney. This is because TBI is frequently caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, via a car or other accident.
Non-traumatic brain injuries, however, are not caused by a blow to the head. These brain injuries are frequently caused by oxygen deprivation, from cardiac arrest, near-drowning, illness, poisoning, or birth trauma. Non-traumatic brain injuries can also result in legal liability, for example, when a doctor negligently fails to diagnose a condition that leads to brain injury.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago brain injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.