Idaho Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Explainer
Certainly, one of the most difficult and all too common injuries suffered by car accident victims in Idaho is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These injuries can cause damage to numerous areas of the brain, such as those controlling hearing, vision, and even basic motor functions. The true extent of damage caused to a TBI victim depends on how and where the injury occurred. While some TBI’s are often minor and heal within weeks, others can be extremely serious and can cause permanent damage or even death.
With the assistance of a practiced injury attorney, a victim of a TBI may have legal standing to file an injury claim against those who may have caused the injury. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered a TBI in Idaho, this guide will help answer any questions you have about your injury and legal options going forward.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most misunderstood injuries. A TBI isn’t a single injury but a broad class of injuries caused to the brain. Two people involved in the same car accident can walk away with two entirely different types of traumatic brain injuries. Virtually any injury to the brain, no matter how minor, can be defined as a traumatic brain injury.
The term Traumatic Brain Injury is used to describe a wide range of injuries caused to the brain. Put simply, virtually any injury caused to the brain which is not resulting from a degenerative disease or an injury you were born is classified as a traumatic brain injury. Basically, only degenerative or genetic diseases of the brain are not considered to be traumatic brain injuries.
Most traumatic brain injuries are the result of a forceful strike or blow to the head from an outside force. TBI’s can even occur when a foreign object penetrates the skull and pierces the brain itself. However, a traumatic brain injury may be entirely contained within the cranial cavity itself.
Traumatic brain injuries can be as minor as a concussion to gravely serious conditions. More severe TBI’s can result in paralysis, cognitive impairment, or even death. Traumatic brain injuries are very serious injuries and should be treated by medical professionals as soon as possible.
Idaho TBI Statistics
Over 1.7 million people in the United States suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Twenty percent of these TBI’s are suffered in motor vehicle accidents. The state of Massachusetts ranked first for TBI-related fatalities per capita and South Dakota ranked last. Idaho was close to the middle of the rankings for TBI deaths. Below are more important statistics about traumatic brain injuries:
- 5,000+ TBI’s occur each day in the United States
- Over 50k people die from TBI’s each year
- Almost 300,000 people are hospitalized annually for traumatic brain injuries
- A new brain injury occurs every 10 seconds
- Automobile accidents are the second leading cause of TBI’s; Falls are the first
- Men have the most TBI’s, making up over 80% of all brain injuries
- Brain injuries are the 2nd most reported disability in the US
- TBI’s cost the U.S. economy an estimated $60 billion dollars each year
- 35% of accidental deaths in Idaho are TBI-related
- Nearly 50% of those who die in Idaho motor vehicle crashes or accidental falls are related to TBI’s
- In Idaho, 35% of elderly and 40% of children who die of accidental causes are due to a TBI
Statistics such as these are eye-opening when it comes to the often permanent impact traumatic brain injuries have on victims. But these numbers only show a small portion of the agonizing reality TBI victims confront each and every day. Currently, the brain remains an incomprehensibly complex part of the human body and, as such, no two traumatic brain injuries are ever the same. Unfortunately, the struggle each TBI victim faces is uniquely their own.
TBI Symptoms and Complications
Traumatic brain injuries cause victims severe symptoms and complications beyond just the brain. Here are some of the most common injuries and complications victims may face after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Seizures: Seizures after a TBI are pretty common. Seizures are uncontrolled and sudden electrical bursts in the brain. While some seizures only last for a couple of seconds, others can last for several minutes. Often the victim will lose consciousness during a seizure while their arms and legs jerk about. However, if a seizure endures for over five minutes, the victim should receive medical care immediately since they are likely experiencing an acute emergency. When a victim suffers several seizures after a week following their injury they are likely suffering from post-traumatic epilepsy.
Altered States of Consciousness: A rather common condition TBI victims face are altered states of consciousness. Such states can vary from a minimally conscious state, leaving victims with a limited awareness of their surroundings, to a completely vegetative state where they are entirely unaware of anything around them besides the most basic reflex responses. One of the most serious states of altered consciousness is a total coma. In such a coma, a victim is unable to respond to any external stimulation. However, the most serious state is when a victim exhibits zero brain function and is essentially brain dead.
Meningitis: Meningitis is a severe medical condition where the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. Most cases of meningitis are caused by viral infections. Meningitis caused by TBI’s are typically the result of bacteria introduced into the body. The best way to treat bacterial meningitis is with a high dose of antibiotics. Failure to properly treat meningitis may prove fatal within just a few days.
Hydrocephalus: Hydrocephalus is another serious condition affecting the brain. When a TBI victim has hydrocephalus excess fluids amass in the ventricles deep within the brain. A build-up such as this is especially dangerous due to the incredible pressure it puts on the brain. If left untreated this condition can leave a victim with severe brain damage and possible impairment. More serious cases of hydrocephalus may require a shunt being inserted into the brain in order to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid. Unfortunately, this shunt is likely permanent for most victims and will require periodic checkups by a medical professional for the rest of the victim’s life.
TBI Litigation in Idaho
Since traumatic brain injuries typically require long recovery periods, litigating a TBI injury claim often presents several unique challenges. Even an injury as mild as a concussion can cause victims a host of difficulties. Proving the true extent of a TBI can be difficult due to the damage being hidden inside of the victim’s skull. Only a practiced litigation attorney with a proven track record can conclusively prove in a court of law. A skilled attorney will use diagnostic imaging and brain scans to show a judge and jury the actual brain injury and the burden the victim has suffered as a result.
Another way to prove a TBI injury claim is through expert testimony. A litigation attorney will call to the stand medical professionals to present health reports for the court to properly understand them. Family and personal acquaintances may also provide statements to show the extensive changes to the victim’s life and behavior. It’s not hard to see how TBI injury claims can rapidly become complex cases. In order for a TBI victim to win maximum compensation for the true amount of their losses, an experienced litigation attorney is an absolute must.
Since 1993, The Advocates have established a reputation as one of the top personal injury law firms in the United States. Our experience representing victims of TBI victims is unparalleled compared to other law firms. Our attorneys know what it takes to build you an iron-clad case representing your best interests. The Advocates can help you win maximum compensation for your traumatic brain injury claim. Don’t wait to contact one of our attorneys for free evaluation of your situation. You can call our office today at (208) 314-4105 or you can chat with a live attorney right now from the bottom of your screen. You deserve an Advocate!
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