Brain Injury Lawyers in Houston
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that nearly 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”) occur each year, and that they are a contributing factor of more than 30% in injury-related deaths in the U.S. Further, the CDC estimates the direct medical costs and the indirect costs such as lost productivity costs are in excess of $76 billion annually.
Traumatic brain injuries have many causes including falls, traffic accidents, being struck by or against a moving or stationary object, and assaults. Falls are the leading cause of TBI, followed by other/unknown causes and traffic accidents.
- Falls (35.2%)
- Other/unknown causes (21%)
- Traffic accidents (17.3 %)
- Being struck by or against objects (16.5%)
- Assaults (10%)
Not all injuries, bumps, or jolts to the head will result in a TBI, but when it does happen there is a range of severity from mild to severe with many levels of injury in between. There are two types of TBI diagnosis: concussion (mild TBI) and severe.
- Concussion - A concussion is a form of brain injury, and even without loss of consciousness it is still considered to be a serious injury. It can be caused by a bump, blow or a jolt to the head and can often change the way the brain works. A concussion can also occur from a body blow that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth which can cause damage to the brain as it is jostled back and forth within the skull. Seventy-five percent of all brain injuries fall into the category of concussion or mild TBI.
- Severe TBI – there are two types of severe TBI: closed and penetrating. These types of TBI’s are the leading cause of permanent disabilities and death in the United States. Additionally, ninety percent of the medical costs attributed to TBI’s are spent on hospitalization and treatment of severe TBI’s.
- Closed – a closed head injury is caused by movement of the brain in the skull. Causes can be attributed to falls, traffic accidents, and being struck by or against an object, among other things.
- Penetrating – a penetrating head injury is caused by a foreign object actually entering, or penetrating, the skull and causing injury. Causes can be attributed to firearm injuries, impalement or being struck with a sharp object.
Effects of a traumatic brain injury
The signs and symptoms of a TBI may not be readily apparent and the injured person may look perfectly fine. While some symptoms may occur immediately, others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury. Symptoms are often not apparent until the injured person resumes, or attempts to resume, their everyday life and more demands and stress are put upon them.
And while most people think of a brain injury as only affecting the brain, the truth is that a TBI can affect all of the systems of the body including thinking, emotions, language skills, sensation and physical well-being.
Thinking – can effect memory and reasoning
- Emotion – can cause personality changes, aggression, acting out, anxiety and depression
- Language – can affect the ability to communicate, expression and understanding
- Sensation – can affect taste, touch and smell
- Physical – can cause epilepsy and increased risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders