New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Traumatic brain injury is caused by an impact to the head that interferes with the normal functioning of the brain. This can affect the mental abilities of a person such as thinking and learning.
Falls are responsible for the majority of traumatic brain injury incidences for people of all ages. However, people aged 75 and above top the list of those hospitalized with these kinds of injuries to the brain and at times, deaths have also been reported.
Types of traumatic brain injuries
According to doctors, a traumatic brain injury can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. These depend on whether the damage causes unconsciousness, the period the unconsciousness lasts and the magnitude of the symptoms. Even though most traumatic brain injuries are categorized as mild, they can have grave and long-term effects on a person.
Two ways in which TBI is a menace to mental health
Some of the permanent or long-term effects of TBI include unconsciousness, inability to recall the traumatic episode, confusion, difficulty learning and recollecting fresh information, difficulty in speaking intelligibly, wobbliness, lack of coordination and difficulties with vision or hearing. There are particular classes of traumatic brain injuries that may raise the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease or a different form of dementia several years after the damage occurs.
What to do when head injury occurs
In case you or someone else has had a knock on the head and you are exhibiting signs of TBI, consult a doctor no matter how mild the symptoms may appear to be. Call emergency services for a person who is unconscious for 1-2 minutes or more, or who has seizures, vomits repeatedly or shows symptoms that seem to deteriorate with the passage of time. Similarly, look for emergency care for anyone who sustained head injury after being flung out of a vehicle, was hit by a vehicle while on foot or fell from a height exceeding 3 feet. You may not lose consciousness instantly and your symptoms may clear up fast, but it is still likely that a brain injury might have occurred.
The following are traumatic brain injury symptoms:
- Failure to recollect what led to the injury or events that ensued immediately before or up to 24 hours after
- Trouble in remembering fresh information
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Variations in sleep and emotion patterns
- Trouble speaking coherently
- Mix-up and bewilderment
- Nausea and vomiting
The gravity of symptoms is entirely dependent on the nature of the injury – mild, moderate or severe.
Otherwise referred to as concussion, mild traumatic brain injury may send you into a comma for 30 minutes or less. In most cases, symptoms appear at the time of the damage or shortly afterwards. At times, they may not even develop for a number of days or weeks. Mild TBI injury symptoms are usually momentary and take a few hours, days or weeks to clear up. However, they can take months or even longer.
In moderate TBI, one can be unconscious for half an hour. The symptoms these kinds of traumatic brain injury are comparable to those of mild TBI but are more severe and last longer.
In severe traumatic brain injury, the victim is bound to be in a comma for 24 hours or more. This type of brain injury exhibits the same kind of symptoms as seen in individuals suffering from mild TBI; however, in the former, they are more severe take a long time.
Assessments by health care professionals characteristically consist of:
- Queries about the circumstances of the injury
- Valuation of the person’s degree of consciousness and confusion
- Nerve check-up to assess memory and thinking, reflexes, touch, balance, vision, hearing, and other gauges of brain function
- Brain imaging with computed tomography (CT) may be required to determine if any bleeding or swelling has occurred in the brain but this will depend on the nature of the TBI and the magnitude of the symptoms.
TBI Causes and risks
For older adults, falls are the generally the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. When an elderly person sustains TBI in a fall, its direct effects can lead to long-term cognitive variations, lesser ability to function and changes in emotional well-being.
Another common cause of TBI is car accidents, which can be minimized by keeping your vehicle in good mechanical condition, adhering to traffic regulations and fastening your seat belt.
TBI can also occur as a result of sports injuries. Wearing a helmet and other protective gear is important in minimizing the risk of TBI when biking, skating or playing contact sports
Additional causes include:
- Indirect forces that shock the brain violently within the skull, like shock waves from combat zone blast.
- Gunshot wounds or other injuries that infiltrate the skull and brain
- Dementia and traumatic brain injury
- Swimming pool accidents
Contact our New Jersey traumatic brain injury lawyers today
If you are faced with a concern involving a head injury or accident and would like to talk about it with an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer, call Aiello, Harris, Abate at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online at any of our New Jersey law offices to arrange for a free consultation.