Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, happens when the brain is damaged as the result of the impact from an external source that pierces brain tissue or violently shakes the brain within the skull.
The harm of a TBI is internal, and the symptoms can be subtle though the brain damage may be extensive enough to cause disability. For this reason, TBI is sometimes called a “silent epidemic.”
In South Carolina each year, brain injuries lead to an average of 12,000 emergency visits, 3,000 hospitalizations, 1,300 TBI survivors with a lifelong disability, and 1,000 deaths. TBI is the No. 1 cause of death for South Carolinians ages 1 to 44. Across South Carolina, 61,000 residents live with a permanent disability due to TBI, according to the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina.
The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls (35 percent of all TBI cases)
- Car accidents (22 percent)
- Being struck by or against something (11 percent)
- Assault (10 percent)
Do You Need a South Carolina Brain Injury Lawyer?
Yes, when a TBI has been caused by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, such as in a car accident or negligence that led to a slip-and-fall accident, the person or individual at fault may be legally compelled to compensate the victim for medical bills and other expenses.
To find out how we can help you if you have suffered a TBI in an accident caused by someone else, call us at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim evaluation.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The brain is made of neural networks that send messages throughout the body to control functions such as thinking, seeing, hearing, and muscle movement. The soft tissue of the brain is protected by the skull. When the head receives a violent jolt – such as in a car wreck – the brain may slam against the hard interior of the skull. This can damage the neurons and impair brain function, resulting in a TBI.
No two TBI cases are the same. There are many different types of brain injuries, and the effects can be mild to severe. Symptoms vary depending on the cause, location, and severity of the initial trauma.
Often TBI goes undiagnosed and untreated. A patient can be sent home from the emergency room after a car accident without anyone – including the treating physician – being aware that a severe internal brain injury has occurred. Not until days or weeks later do signs of a serious problem begin to surface.
Between 3.2 million and 5.3 million adults and children nationwide are living with permanent disabilities caused by TBI, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Long-term symptoms of head injuries can include:
- Headaches, including sharp pain in the temples or forehead
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating and maintaining mental focus
- Fatigue, dizziness, and vertigo
- Struggling to find the right words for familiar objects
- Feeling overwhelmed by noise or crowds
- Loss of balance and motor skills
- Blurred vision or clouded eyesight
- Difficulty hearing
- Loss of self-esteem
- Depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts
In severe cases, TBI may lead to heart attacks, loss of bladder control, seizures, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.