What Is a Brain Injury?

What Is a Brain Injury?

We often think of the brain injury case where the injured person is in a coma, or confined to a bed, and is unable to function in any capacity. However, there are other forms of brain injury cases that are very prevalent, and can be very significant. They’re often referred to as a Closed Head Injury, or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

This kind of brain injury can occur when the person is knocked unconscious, or the head is simply shaken when the head is significantly moved in an accident. What might happen from a whiplash type accident? For example, in a serious rear end auto accident where the head moves back and forth violently as a result of the impact. This kind of movement can cause TBI.

The closed head injury for TBI is often not verifiable by way of any imaging studies, such as an x-ray or an MRI, nor a CT scan. The injury is much more subtle. A qualified neuropsychologist is often the only one that is able to confirm the existence of the TBI.

Traumatic Brain Injury Defined

A traumatic brain injury is defined in general as follows:

A patient with a mild traumatic brain injury is a person who has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of the brain function as manifested by at least one of the following:

• Any period of loss of consciousness
• Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident
• Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (e.g. feeling dazed, disoriented or confused: and
• Focal neurological deficit (s) that may or may not be transient

but where the severity of the injury does not exceed the following:

• Post traumatic amnesia (PTA) not greater than 24 hours
• After 30 minutes an initial Glasgow Come Scale (GCS) of 13 to 15 and
• Loss of consciousness of approximately 30 minutes or less.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

The symptoms that are often associated with TBI are as follows:
1. Forgetfulness
2. Fatigue
3. Depression
4. Sleep issues
5. Attention deficit
6. Reduced ability to concentrate
7. Speed at which one can gather and understand information
8. Mood swings.

Very often we see a client complaining they went to the grocery store to pick up certain items, but when they got there, they forgot what they were there for the first place. Another common complaint is that after living in the same location for years, they have forgotten how to get home. Or they put the milk in the cupboard, instead of the refrigerator. They have trouble remembering what they were supposed to do each day. They are unable to follow the events in a book or article that they are reading.

It is very important that the attorney recognize and appreciate these complaints (and inquire about them), and insure that they are seen by the appropriate medical professional.

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