Understanding Different Forms of Brain Injuries
If a loved one has suffered a brain injury, it’s important to understand the extent of that injury and the long-term prognosis. While not all brain injuries leave one permanently impaired, many do, which is why it’s essential for anyone seeking compensation to have an idea of how much compensation will be needed.
The two main classifications of brain injuries are acquired brain injury (ABI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). ABIs may be caused by disease and other natural causes, but they may also result from reduced exposure to oxygen (anoxia) or total deprivation of oxygen (hypoxia). Common examples of ABIs seen by personal injury attorneys include near-drowning events and exposure to toxic fumes.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by impact or acceleration and are classified in a number of different ways. The most common type of TBI is concussion. From car accidents to collisions while playing sports, there are endless ways for a victim’s head to come into contact with a foreign object. Concussions, which may cause dizziness, nausea and a variety of other symptoms, range greatly in severity, and if the victim suffers another impact to the head before the brain has had a chance to recover, there is risk of death.
Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is similar to concussion, but usually more severe. DAI occurs when the head is suddenly accelerated or decelerated. Different parts of the brain have different densities, meaning they move at different speeds after a sudden impact. This movement stretches and tears the axons of the brain, often leading victims to fall into a coma or another unresponsive state. Other types of TBI include contusions and coup-contrecoup injury, damaging both sides of the brain.
Doctors classify TBIs into two categories: open-head injuries and closed-head injuries. Open-head injuries involve the penetration or shattering of the skull. When a bullet, bone fragment or piece of debris from an accident enters the brain cavity, the victim has suffered an open-head injury. A closed-head injury occurs when the skull remains intact, but this type of damage can be just as serious and is often even more so.
While brain injuries can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on a variety of factors such as symptoms and the victim’s level of awareness, even seemingly minor head injuries should be taken seriously. It is important to seek medical attention after suffering any kind of head injury, especially if the victim has lost consciousness, even for a second.
If you or your family is dealing with the effects of a brain injury, consult the Honolulu personal injury attorneys at Shim & Chang. To schedule a free consultation with our experienced brain injury lawyers, call us at 808-524-5803 or contact us online.