Losing the full function of your brain translates into losing the full function of your life. As such, even a partial loss of brain function - as happens in the case of a traumatic brain injury - could mean losing a portion of your former life. Serious TBI can result in the loss of intelligence, emotion, movement, sensation and consciousness.
In their efforts to further understand traumatic brain injury and the way it affects our lives, physicians have classified TBI into four primary types. Before we define these types, though, let's look at how TBI might affect the typical Florida resident's life.
An example of a traumatic brain injury patient
Let's say you're a typical Florida office worker. Your job isn't physically demanding beyond operating a computer, but it's intellectually demanding. As such, you need good control of your fingers and hands and you need a clear head to think through problems and work tasks.
If this sounds like you, a TBI could prevent you from performing your job duties. After suffering from brain damage, you might feel too foggy-headed to focus on tasks for long enough to complete them. You might have poor motor control, rendering it impossible to use a computer. On top of all this, you could be dealing with mood swings, strange emotions you can't explain, poor memory and other problems.
How do doctors categorize traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are open or closed. Open TBIs involve a fractured skull. Closed TBIs involve a skull that wasn't fractured. Beyond these two classifications, there or four primary types of TBI as follows:
- Concussion: Concussions the most prevalent kind of TBI. In some cases, victims suffer a loss of consciousness. The brain injury usually happens after some kind of direct impact to the skull, when the brain hits the inside wall of the skull. Symptoms may include temporary confusion, foggy-headedness and dizziness. In severe cases, permanent damage can result.
- Contusion: Contusions happen the same way concussions happen, through direct impact trauma, but in a contusion, the brain is bleeding. These can be dangerous if a blood clot forms at the contusion site, and doctors may need to remove the contusion.
- Diffuse Axonal Injuries: Diffuse axonal injuries are caused when severe shaking or rotational forces are applied to the brain. In these situations, tearing happens to the brain tissue on its edges as it comes into contact with the inside walls of the skull. The results of this tearing can be permanent brain damage, long-term coma or death. The symptoms depend on what parts of the brain are torn. However, it is not uncommon for patients to experience memory loss, motor function loss, sensation loss, olfactory damage and more.
- Penetration Injuries: These happen when sharp objects penetrate the skull and enter the brain. When this happens, the brain tissue is torn, sheared or ruptured. The consequences are often fatal, or the victim can experience long-term and serious brain damage.
Pursuing financial claims after a brain injury
If you are dealing with the aftereffects of a traumatic brain injury, then you may be able to identify with the Florida office worker described above. No matter how you lived your life before suffering a serious TBI, your current life is probably different.
TBI patients often experience the heavy financial burden of not being able to do their previous jobs, and they are burdened with costly doctors' bills. For those who received their TBIs in a serious accident caused by another party's negligence, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury claim for financial damages against the at-fault party.