Traumatic Brain Injuries Resulting from a Car Accident
Call the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers at the Noll Law Office in Springfield for Help
Although there are many different types of serious personal injuries that may be sustained in a motor vehicle accident, traumatic brain injuries after a car accident in Springfield or elsewhere in Illinois can be some of the most debilitating and life-changing injuries. According to research, injuries to the brain are the leading cause of death or permanent disability in the world. Each year in the United States there are over 64,000 deaths caused by injuries to the brain, with motor vehicle accidents being one of the leading causes. As for non-fatal brain injuries, other statistics show that there are up to 100,000 new brain injuries each year in the United States and approximately 1.7 million people suffer from a brain injury at any given time. Many of these brain injuries are disabling and require extensive treatment. That’s why victims and their families should contact experienced car accident lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office for help.
Unlike other personal injury law firms, the Noll Law Office in Central Illinois provides dedicated service for each victim and their family. They do not refer cases out to other offices across the state but handle each case in-house out of their Springfield location. Their skilled and experienced car accident lawyers offer free consultations and case evaluations, where victims and their families can ask questions and get answers about their case and their injuries. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, especially if you suffered traumatic brain injuries after a car accident in Springfield, call to schedule your FREE case evaluation with the Noll Law Office today at (217) 414-8889.
What are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
A traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI, is defined as any type of injury to the brain that impacts or affects how the brain functions. The impairment caused by a TBI can be temporary or permanent and may cause physical or cognitive problems for a victim. This definition is very broad and encompasses a wide range of possible injuries to the brain.
The reason for this broad definition is that physicians and researchers have increasingly determined that any injury or damage to the brain can be traumatic and must be always treated as serious. This is a sentiment shared by the experienced car accident lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office, who understand that any injury to the brain is traumatic, significant, and possibly life-changing or life-threatening.
General Classifications of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are several ways that traumatic brain injuries after a car accident will be classified. The broad areas of classification are useful in determining the extent of the damage and likely impairments. It is important to understand these principles because some of them run counterintuitive because can still result in compensation for victims and their families.
The onset of Symptoms and Damage
One example of that is the notion that most people consider a TBI to be immediate and obvious. However, that is not always the case. One of the most common ways that TBIs are classified is whether the damage is impairment or damage can either be immediate or delayed.
For instance, TBIs are considered primary because the damage to the brain occurs right away, such as in a car accident resulting in a direct impact on the head.
Whereas other types of TBIs may be considered secondary, meaning that they occur over time due to changes in the brain after the trauma. These changes can be caused by swelling or bleeding in the brain, or they can be caused by other chemical changes in the brain or skull as a result of an impact.
Location and Extent of Damage
A TBI is also classified as to the general extent and location of the damage to the brain. For example, a TBI is considered focal when the damage is confined to one area of the brain. But where damage to the brain occurs in more than one area, it is considered diffuse.
In addition, doctors may also classify what specific regions, subregions, and structures may be injured in the brain when diagnosing and treating a TBI.
Type of TBI: Closed or Open
Finally, the last general classification of a TBI is whether it is closed or open. The most common type is a closed TBI, which is when the damage to the brain is contained in the skull without a fracture or penetration through the skull.
In contrast, an open TBI is a type of brain injury that occurs when the skull has been fractured or pierced by a foreign object. Most open TBIs result in permanent disability or wrongful death, particularly in high-speed collisions or crashes involving a commercial truck like an 18-wheeler.
Specific Classifications of Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Accident
In addition to the general classifications, TBIs are also classified by their severity. This is how most people understand the extent of their brain injury, and the system is used to describe other types of injuries from an ankle sprain to a brain injury.
The specific classifications of a TBI include the following:
- Mild TBI – although there is no structural change in brain tissue caused by the damage, there are some cognitive impairments, symptoms, or other effects of a head injury present. Sometimes these may be due to a loss of function or residual effect, but other times it may be due to worsening chemical changes in the brain (such as a secondary brain injury that is noted above). Many times a person’s symptoms will improve, and usually, there is a full improvement (but not always).
- Moderate TBI – there are minor changes to the structure of brain tissue caused by damage which may be visible in physical abnormalities or from lesions, actual damage, or other injuries to tissue. There are also greater cognitive impairments and disabilities, with symptoms being more disruptive in a person’s life in the areas of concentration, speech, problem-solving, and other related areas. These symptoms may impair, but usually, there is not a full improvement and some symptoms will continue.
- Severe TBI – there are significant changes or damage to the structure of brain tissue, including removal of damaged tissue, crushed or torn tissue, and other noticeable damage. As a result, there are often catastrophic cognitive impairments that may permanently affect a person’s ability to function and prevent them from communicating, walking, or otherwise interacting with other people. Injuries here are highly unlikely to improve by a noticeable amount, and will never fully recover. Most individuals with a severe TBI will require daily living assistance and nursing care.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Accident in Springfield, Illinois
There are many different types of TBIs that a victim may sustain in a motor vehicle accident in Central Illinois. Some of the most common types of TBIs that are debilitating, catastrophic, and often permanently disabling include the following:
- Concussions – caused by an impact or jolt to the head, a concussion is one of the most common types of TBIs that most people wrongly believe at not serious. Unfortunately, concussions can be very serious, result in life-long impairments, and cause permanent brain damage that may lead to wrongful death.
- Coup-Contrecoup – when the brain slides back and forth inside the skull due to a violent impact or whiplash motion, it can become injured on opposite sides from hitting the inside of the skull. This type of damage on opposite ends of the brain is called a coup-contrecoup TBI, and it can result in disabling or fatal swelling of brain tissue.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury – also known as a DAI, this type of TBI is caused by a violent and forceful impact that results in sheering or tearing of brain tissue or neural connections in the brain. This damage is often significant, irreparable, and catastrophically disabling.
Other types of TBIs include:
- Brain hemorrhages
- Penetrating brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Post-concussive syndrome
- Cerebral edema
- Second impact syndrome, and
- Other types of serious or catastrophic TBIs that the car accident lawyers in Springfield, IL at the Noll Law Office can seek compensation for you and your family.
Why You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Springfield for Any Type of TBI
There are many different general and specific classifications of traumatic brain injuries after a car accident in Springfield or anywhere else in Central Illinois. Although some types of TBIs may sound minor, an experienced car accident lawyer should always be consulted no matter what type of personal injuries a victim sustains.
That is because there is no such thing as a mild or minor brain injury.
Medical providers use the classification of a TBI for diagnostic and medical purposes. However, research has shown that all brain injuries can have a lasting impact on a victim and his or her family. Victims of a car accident who have suffered a TBI may be entitled to compensation for their conscious pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages no matter what type of TBI they have.
Even though a victim may have different symptoms and impairments caused by a TBI due to the severity or classification, which might affect the level of compensation a victim may be entitled to, that does not bar a victim from any recovery. This is a common trick used by defense lawyers or insurance adjusters to depreciate the amount of compensation that a victim may be entitled to. Do not fall for this. Hire an experienced car accident lawyer in Springfield, Illinois to fight back to protect your rights to compensation.
Did You Suffer Traumatic Brain Injuries After a Car Accident in Springfield? We Can Help
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident in Central Illinois, especially if you or a loved one suffered traumatic brain injuries after a car accident in Springfield, call the Noll Law Office to schedule a FREE consultation with one of their experienced car accident lawyers. They can help you and your family recover compensation for any type of traumatic brain injury or damages that were caused by the negligence of a defendant. To learn more about your rights to compensation in Illinois, contact their personal injury law firm today.