According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) happen to 2.5 million people in the U.S. every year. TBIs account for almost a third of all injury-related deaths and take a heavy monetary toll as well, accounting for $60 billion in losses a year due to medical costs and lost worker productivity. It should come as little surprise that auto accidents are one of the leading causes of TBI fatalities.
The Three Varieties of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are three varieties of traumatic brain injuries and they can be caused by a jolt, blow, or penetration to the head. While the name “traumatic brain injury” may sound life-threatening, not all cases of TBIs are quite that severe. In fact, there is a wide range of severity when it comes to TBIs, ranging from mild concussions to permanent loss of memory, impaired cognition, coma, and death. Bleeding, swelling, stretching, or a rupture of brain tissue is associated with severe brain trauma. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that there are three variations of TBIs.
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Internal Loading Injury
Shaken Baby syndrome results in a traumatic brain injury, yet no contact was made to the head from any external object. Injury, in internal loading scenarios, is caused when the head is jarred, causing the brain to make damaging impact within the inside of the skull.
Impact Loading Injury
When there is an external object that comes into contact with the head, causing a TBI, it is called an impact loading injury. Examples of this include the impact of the head against a steering wheel, dashboard, car roof, or side window.
A coup-contrecoup injury is the combination of the former two types of injury: impact and internal loading. A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when there is a blow to the head so strong that it sends the brain backwards into the skull. This causes injury to multiple parts of the brain and can be a very severe type of TBI. Coup-contrecoup injuries are common in serious car accidents.
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The final, and least common, type of TBI occurs when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain tissue, referred to as a penetration injury. Penetration injuries are very often fatal.
Recovering From a Traumatic Brain Injury
Most people are able to recover from mild TBIs. In fact, 75 percent of people are able to make full recoveries from concussions. After receiving medical care following a car wreck, the CDC recommends to take the following steps to help with recovery:
- Get extra rest and sleep;
- Do not engage in physical activities or strenuous activities until given the okay by your doctor;
- Refrain from normal activities such as work until given the okay by your doctor;
- Never operate a vehicle until your doctor gives permission;
- Refrain from alcohol until your doctor gives permission;
- Keep a notepad at hand to write in to help remember things as you recover, because you may find yourself forgetting even simple things and tasks;
- Do not travel by air until given the okay by your doctor; and
- Do not look at screens (phones, TV, computers) until given the okay by your doctor.
TBI recovery can take anywhere from weeks to more than a year. Recovery is a long, strenuous, and costly process, especially when the victim is not able to earn their regular wages at work. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a Georgia car accident, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today at 770-792-1000 to learn about your legal options for compensation.