Brain injuries have serious, life-altering consequences. Traumatic brain injury has reached shocking levels in the United States, and is considered a public health crisis. At least 2.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Every nine seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury, and one in 60 people in the United States lives with a brain injury. Over 11,000 people (survivors and family members) are affected by brain injury each year in the Camp Pendleton North area. Although the public has become more aware of brain injuries in recent years, TBI remains often misunderstood, unrecognized, and undiagnosed.
Brain injuries can have an enormous impact on your life and ability to function and may require lifelong care and support. When a traumatic brain injury interferes with a person’s ability to fully use his or her brain, that individual and his or her loved ones may face financial devastation. If you have a traumatic brain injury caused by someone’s negligence in Camp Pendleton North, you may be entitled to compensation. You need to consult the experienced California brain injury attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about your legal options.
The brain is probably the most important organ in the human body. It is highly complex, is made up of many parts, and performs many functions. The brain is unique and highly sensitive to its environment. Our brain controls our ability to walk, talk, and balance. It coordinates and regulates our body systems, such as circulation and respiration breathing. It allows us to understand and retain information, make decisions, and feel emotions.
When a person’s brain is injured, it may not process or serve all of these functions as it did before the injury. All brain injuries are potentially serious injuries. Even if you believe you only have a mild concussion, you should seek treatment.
There are two basic types of brain injuries:
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force. These can be non-penetrating (or closed) or penetrating (open.) According to the CDC, traumatic brain injury is “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head; or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” The effects of a brain injury range from mild to catastrophic. Sometimes there are no obvious symptoms, or brain injury symptoms may show up long after the injury, so the injured person may not even be aware that they have an injury.
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is not genetic or caused by birth trauma. Essentially, this type of brain injury is one that has occurred after birth. Therefore, it is a result of an unforeseen event or a medical cause, such as an infection that alters the brain’s neuronal activity. A TBI is one type of acquired brain injury.
Trauma to the head can lead to many types of injuries, including:
A concussion happens when the brain is whipped back and forth inside the skull. It often leaves the victim with headaches, memory loss, lack of concentration, and disorientation. Even with proper treatment, the symptoms may not improve with time, and repeated concussions may lead to permanent brain damage. to learn more about concussion and what you can do to recover from one speak with an experienced attorney.
A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a form of traumatic brain injury. It happens when the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull as an injury is occurring. The long connecting fibers in the brain called axons are sheared as the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates inside the hard bone of the skull.
Penetrating injuries often happen in car crashes, in which an object penetrates the skull, a slip and fall accident that causes the skull to crack, or a gunshot wound to the head (a leading cause of death by TBI).
An anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. After four to five minutes without enough oxygen, brain cells begin to die.
With a closed head injury, there is no penetration of the skull. However, when the brain swells, it has nowhere to expand, causing an increase in intracranial pressure.
Brain and head injuries are the most common cause of traumatic death in children less than two years of age. Statistics show that each year between 1,200 to 1,400 children suffer abusive head injuries in the United States. It occurs when the perpetrator aggressively shakes a baby or young child.
Second impact syndrome (SIS) describes a condition in which an individual experiences a second head injury before complete recovery from an initial head injury. The consequences depend on the location and severity of the first injury, and the amount of trauma involved. This is especially common in sports activities, where participants often have brain injuries.
Brain injuries can happen to anyone. It is a significant cause of disability and death across all age groups and sexes, but it especially affects young children, teenagers, and the elderly. In children (aged 0-14) and senior citizens (greater than 65), the leading cause of traumatic brain injury is falling. In 2014, there were approximately 2.87 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Of these, over 837,000 were children.
Over the years, there has been an increase in concussions and other brain injuries in children ages 19 and younger. Researchers believe this is a result of sports and other recreational activities. Researchers estimate that 3.8 million concussions occur during competitive sports and recreational activities. However, as many as half may go unreported. Approximately 283,000 children go to the emergency room each year due to a sports- or recreation-related brain injury. In fact, children and teens make up approximately 70 percent of all sports- and recreation-related concussions seen in the emergency department.
One CDC report, Emergency Department Visits for Sports and Recreation-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Children in the United States, 2010-2016, found that contact sports contributed to nearly half (45 percent) of the SRR-TBI visits examined. Activities with a high number of sports and recreation-related brain injury visits included:
Military service members are another group at high risk for brain injuries. From 2000 to 2015, members of the military suffered over 320,000 traumatic brain injuries. Over the last ten years, approximately 20 percent of all deployed service members have reported some form of traumatic brain injury.
To help deal with the devastating effects of brain injuries, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, in conjunction with Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, opened an Intrepid Spirit Center. Intrepid Spirit Centers were built across the nation to treat traumatic brain injuries and psychological conditions affecting service members.
Nationwide, traumatic brain injuries account for about 30 percent of all injury deaths. In the Camp Pendleton North area, falls are a common cause of unintentional injury, as well as motor vehicle-related injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, causes of TBIs include:
Symptoms are frequently difficult to diagnose and manage. Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury may include:
Symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as other symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury, such as:
Infants and young children who have brain injuries may not be able to express how they are feeling. Therefore, it is especially important to be aware of symptoms such as:
Every individual suffering from a brain injury is different, so they need an individualized treatment plan. However, each treatment plan should be offering help and support with the goal of maximizing the individual’s functioning. Most treatment plans involve medication and rehabilitation and usually take place in stages. The injured person often needs ongoing therapy and rehabilitation to regain speech, memory, and motor functions.
The financial consequences of a brain injury can be overwhelming. The injured person may require anything from help with bill payment to complete management of the person’s financial affairs. To deal with the injured person’s immediate needs as well as preparing for the future, the family may face several complex legal issues. For the average adult with brain injury, the unemployment rate two years after diagnosis is 60 percent. Complicating matters is the high cost of treatment. The estimated lifetime costs of brain injury treatment range from $85,000 to $3 million.
The unpredictable effects of brain injury may affect many areas of your life. Many traumatic brain injury victims face huge ongoing medical bills. The injured person may never return to work or may require a new type of lower-paying job. An injured person may find it difficult to maintain his or her previous relationships with family and friends. A victim of brain injury may need long-term care and support, which also places a tremendous personal and financial strain on loved ones.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury in Camp Pendleton North, you are not alone. An experienced brain injury attorney can review your case and protect your rights. For further information or to arrange a free case evaluation, call Gomez Trial Attorneys at (866) 395-6792 or contact us online.