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    brain injury

    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
    • Death

    In severe cases, TBI may lead to heart attacks, loss of bladder control, seizures, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.

    Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

    Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disturbs the normal functioning of the brain.

    The top 10 causes of traumatic brain injury are:

    1. Falls
    Falling out of bed, slipping in the bath, tumbling down steps, plunging from ladders and similar falls are the most common causes of TBI. This is particularly true for older adults and young children.
    Falls can be caused by uneven pavement, wet floors, cracks, gravel, sand, ice, water puddles and debris.
    Collisions involving a car, motorcycle or truck can cause a person’s head to strike the steering wheel, dashboard, window or another hard surface, causing a brain injury.
    South Carolinians are struck by automobiles while walking, cycling, jogging and crossing the street. Sometimes a brain injury is the result.
    5. Amusement park accidents
    Rides at fairs, carnivals and amusement parks may spin, rotate and jolt passengers with sufficient force to cause brain injury.
    6. Playground injuries
    Children are hurt in falls from jungle gyms, slides, seesaws and swing sets. They may also bump their heads on trampolines and inflatable castles.
    Traumatic brain injuries occur in soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey and other high-impact sports. The risk of concussion and brain injury in youth recreational activities is a growing public health concern.
    8. Violence
    About 10 percent of traumatic brain injuries are caused by violent assaults, such as gunshot wounds, domestic violence or child abuse.
    9. Shaken baby syndrome
    The violent shaking of an infant can damage brain cells.
    10. Explosive blasts
    Active-duty military personnel frequently suffer TBI and other combat injuries. Although the mechanism of the damage isn’t fully understood, researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain significantly disrupts brain function. Traumatic brain injury also results from penetrating wounds, shrapnel and falls or bodily collisions with objects following a blast.

    Here are possible signs of TBI you may feel after hitting your head in a car crash, sports injury, or slip and fall accident:

    • Numbness
    • Excessive drowsiness
    • Severe headache
    • Weakness in your arms or leg
    • Dizziness or loss of vision
    • Slurred speech
    • Loss of consciousness or confusion
    • Vomiting or nausea.

    Types of Head Injuries

    Traumatic brain injuries are described in a variety of ways, depending upon the type of initial injury that led to the brain damage.

    Your doctor or your loved one’s doctors may describe the TBI you are dealing with as:

    • Open-head injury. This is a TBI caused by trauma to the head in which the skull is punctured. If the object that penetrates the skull exits in a different location from where it entered, as in a gunshot wound, it is known as a “perforating open head injury.” Bone fragments from the broken skull can pierce brain tissue and cause further damage. Victims of open-head injuries are prone to infection and bleeding in the brain, which is known as “intracranial hematoma.”
    • Closed-head injury. In a closed-head injury, there is trauma to the brain, but the skull is not broken. Typically, it results from a sudden impact that causes the brain to be pushed against the skull, which damages brain tissue. The brain often swells. Since it is encased in the skull, this creates pressure that can damage more brain cells if the pressure is not relieved. Closed-head injuries include concussion, a mild form of TBI. Most people fully recover from concussions. But some patients develop post-concussion syndrome, which can persist for a few months or a year or more and lead to anxiety and depression.
    • Diffuse axonal injury and focal brain injury. When a closed-head injury causes damage to widespread areas of the brain, it may be referred to as a “diffuse axonal injury,” or DAI. Conversely, a brain injury that occurs in one generalized area (including an open-head wound) is called a “focal brain injury.” DAI is marked by long-term loss of consciousness, such as a coma.
    • Anoxic/hypoxic brain injury. If the oxygen supply to the brain is insufficient for five minutes or longer, brain cells will die and permanent anoxic brain injury results. Partial lack of oxygen causes hypoxic brain injury, which has less serious effects. Oxygen loss can result in physical disabilities, cognitive problems, and psychological disorders.

    Suffering a moderate to severe TBI is expensive as well as painful and potentially life-changing. A single day in a hospital in South Carolina may cost anywhere from more than $1,500 to more than $2,300. Costs grow exponentially if the TBI victim is disabled.

    Get Help from Our South Carolina Brain Injury Lawyers

    An estimated 2.87 million people in America – including many South Carolinians – suffer a brain injury each year.

    If you or someone you love is a TBI victim, our S.C. brain injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve. We understand the complex medical, legal and emotional issues related to TBI accidents.

    We can help you obtain compensation to cover medical care, therapy, rehabilitation and job retraining if necessary. We can retain accident reconstruction experts, workplace injury specialists and investigators as needed to document and explain your case. We are experienced at going toe-to-toe with insurance adjusters.

    Some of our South Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are top AV-rated by the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory. Several of our lawyers have been recognized as South Carolina Super Lawyers.

    If you’ve suffered a serious brain injury in a South Carolina car, truck, motorcycle or workplace accident, trust our TBI team to work to get you fair compensation and maximum benefits.

    Call Joye Law Firm at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our online case evaluation form for a free and confidential legal review today.


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