Traumatic Brain Injuries

By Peter DePaolis

nurse helping a man with a head injuryTraumatic brain injuries result from sudden trauma to the head, such as that caused by a sudden car accident or unexpected fall. Dealing with a traumatic brain injury can be frustrating because it is often hard to detect. Victims of traumatic brain injuries often exhibit behavioral changes and other warning signs, but may otherwise appear physically healthy. Accordingly, it is important that you understand the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury and become educated on the disorder. A leading Washington DC brain injury lawyer and experienced personal injury legal teams provide this information to educate the public about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and head trauma.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury caused by sudden trauma to the head, which disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBIs can be caused by the following:

Symptoms of DC Traumatic Brain Injuries

Symptoms of a TBI range in severity, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. Immediately following the accident, a person with a mild TBI may retain consciousness or may become unconscious for a brief period of time. Other symptoms of a mild TBI include:

  • Headaches and neck pain
  • Dizziness, light-headedness or loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleep patterns
  • Mood changes
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking or reading

Symptoms of a more severe TBI may include the above symptoms, as well as the following:

  • Headaches that do not go away
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Weakness or numbness in extremities
  • Severe sensitivity to lights or sounds
  • Loss of coordination

Injured children may display slightly different symptoms than those found in adults. You should consult a physician if your child has received a head injury and exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Refusal to eat
  • Behavioral changes, such as changes in the way a child plays or in school performance
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training
  • Vomiting
  • Unsteady walking

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

The best way to reduce your risk of traumatic brain injuries is to take safety precautions in your daily life. Many traumatic brain injuries result from car accidents, so you should take safety measures when riding in a vehicle, such as:

  • Wearing a seat belt at all times
  • Ensuring that your child sits in a child safety seat (until the child weighs 40 pounds) or booster seat (until the child is 4’9” tall)
  • Never driving while under the influence of alcohol
  • Wearing a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, or another vehicle

Other ways of eliminating risks in everyday life include:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs or clutter in walkways
  • Improving lighting in your home
  • Wearing a helmet when engaging in contact sports
  • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows
  • Using safety gates to ensure that children do not fall down the stairs

Treating a TBI

MRI of the BrainTraumatic brain injuries must be treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Immediately after the injury, medical personnel will treat the individual and stabilize the patient by ensuring that there is proper flow of oxygen to the brain, the blood flow is constant, and blood pressure is under control.

To diagnose a TBI, a physician will often use imaging tests, such as x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, to check for bone fractures or spinal problems.

Rehabilitation for traumatic brain injuries may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological counseling
  • Speech or language therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Coping with a Traumatic Brain Injury

If you or a loved one have suffered head trauma or TBI, it is important that you educate yourself about the condition and seek support from your community. Many communities offer support networks. If you feel that your TBI was due to the negligence of another person, you should contact a proven Washington DC brain injury lawyer at our law firm, or call us to assist you in recovering compensation for your injury. We are your trusted Washington DC Personal Injury Law Firm, call today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.