The skull, layers of membranes, and extra padding keep the brain protected from trauma. Even having this natural shield, many incidents occur that cause traumatic brain injuries such as bumps, blows, jolts, accidents, and falls.
Such injuries can affect people in an unpredictable number of ways: from a simple bruise to emotional disturbances, depression, cognitive impairment, loss of memory, personality changes, and many other symptoms.
In these cases, it is important to contact a brain injury attorney.
Usually, people avoid lawsuits because they can be long and stressful, however, having the right personal injury lawyer by your side can provide relief for everything you go through while making sure you get the fullest justice and compensation. A brain injury attorney may be the first step to getting back on track.
Oftentimes, people traveling in vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles, cars, involved in an accident receive traumatic brain injuries.
Slip or fall accidents may cause traumatic brain injuries. This may occur going downstairs, out of bed, off a ladder, in the bathtub, at a grocery store, on a business, at a hotel, and many other falls may cause traumatic brain injury. Older adults are more susceptible to traumatic brain injuries from a fall.
Some violent acts lead to brain injuries such as assault, domestic violence, gunshot wounds, child abuse, etc. Even violent shaking of a baby may lead to traumatic brain injury.
Specific Types of Brain Injuries
There are many specific types of brain injuries that could be caused by an accident or fall. All types of brain injuries, even if they are classified as “mild,” can be catastrophic. The truth is that there is no such thing as a “mild” brain injury.
Some of the most common types of brain injuries include the following:
According to the CDC, a concussion is “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” The impact to the head causes a “shock” to the brain. This can result in chemical changes and swelling to the brain which can have a long-term impact to the brain. Victims who suffer a concussion can have personality changes, effects to their five senses, and suffer seizure disorders. Second impacts to the head while a concussion is healing could result in disabling injury or wrongful death.
One of the most catastrophic types of brain injuries is a diffuse axonal injury, or DAI. This type of TBI occurs when a violent force to the head or body causes sheering or ripping of tissue inside the brain. The tissue that is torn is typically the axons and nerve connections, including in the corpus callosum which is the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres. Severe DAIs can result in a coma that a person may not be able to come out of.
A coup-contrecoup TBI is brain damage caused by a violent whiplash motion. The brain is suspended in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) inside of the hardened skull. When there is an impact to one side of the head, or if there is a powerful whiplash motion, the brain can slide back-and-forth inside of the skull. If the force is strong enough, the brain can sustain injury from striking the inside of the skull. This means that there could be a brain injury on multiple sides of the brain. The risk to this is an increase in intracranial pressure which can damage the brain inside of the skull.
Like coup-contrecoup TBIs, brain bleeds can increase the intracranial pressure to a dangerous level. In addition to this, the blood itself can become toxic to brain tissue and cause chemical damage to it. This means that a brain bleed could damage brain tissue in multiple ways.
Victims could suffer a penetrating brain injury when foreign debris piercing their head. While the skull is very strong, it is not impenetrable. Damage can be disabling and catastrophic, many times fatal. Penetrating brain injuries could be caused by debris being launched into a victim’s head during like during a collision, or they could be caused when a victim’s head hits an object in a collision or fall.
While these are the most common and devastating types of brain injuries, there are many other possible types of TBIs that could be caused including the following:
General Anatomy of the Brain
The brain consists of three main parts: (1) the cerebrum, (2) the brainstem, and (3) the cerebellum.
Cerebrum: located in the front of the brain. The cerebrum is composed of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. This is responsible for movement, coordination, temperature, touch, sight, reasoning, logic, emotions, and learning.
Brainstem: The brain stem is made of the midbrain, pons, and medulla. The brainstem is responsible for eye and mouth movement, sensory messages (heat, pain, loudness), breathe, heart movement, consciousness, involuntary muscle movement, sneezes, coughs, vomits, and eating.
Cerebellum: The cerebellum is in the back of the head and tucked beneath the cerebrum. This functions to coordinate voluntary muscle movement and maintain posture, balance, coordination, and equilibrium.
Subparts of the brain include: