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Traumatic brain injuries can cause issues for years to come

In many ways, your brain defines who you are and what you do. Your brain controls everything, from your vocabulary and accent to your memory and ability to perform fine motor tasks. We often take for granted how powerful this delicate organ really is, but looking at the consequences of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can provide new perspective about the brain.

There are several possible causes of a TBI. One of the simplest is falling or hitting the head. All it takes is a slippery spot on the floor or a wrinkled rug to send you crashing into the floor, a wall, furniture or fixtures. People also sustain TBIs due to penetrating injuries, such as shrapnel that hits your head during a car accident. Finally, people who experience violent shaking, spinning or rocking could also incur a TBI. Regardless of the root cause, the results can be lasting.

TBIs can actually get worse over time

One way that brain injuries differ from other common accident-related injuries is that they often get worse in the hours, days and weeks following the initial injury. There’s a surprising reason that contributes to worsening symptoms related to a TBI. It’s your skull.

This thick piece of bone (actually several bones that fuse together in early development) is meant to protect your brain from injuries. However, it can sometimes make them worse as well. It thoroughly encloses your brain, which means that there’s no place for swollen tissue to go. When someone has bruising, swelling or bleeding on the brain, the skull can actually make things worse over time.

TBI symptoms can impact school and work

Depending on the location and severity of the TBI, there are a host of potential symptoms. Some people experience memory loss or issues storing new memory after a TBI. Others may have a change in overall mood and personality. Sometimes, a TBI results in impaired motor function and balance. In severe cases, people with TBIs may struggle to regulate automatic body functions, like breathing.

Both adults and children can end up living different lives because of a TBI. Children who hurt their heads may struggle in school and have difficulty in social situations. Their future may end up limited because of the TBI. For adults, it is possible for a TBI to prevent returning to work in a chosen career. For some people, severe TBIs can keep them from working any job and may even require around-the-clock medical care.

When someone else is responsible for an accident that results in a TBI, victims have a right to seek compensation. Whether the injury was the result of a car accident, work injury or a poorly maintained floor at a retail shop, those who cause serious injuries through neglect or wrongful acts should get held accountable for their actions or lack thereof.