What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that causes functional difficulties of either a permanent or temporary nature. According to the Centers for Disease Control, TBIs are a major cause of disability and death for people in the United States, where this type of severe head injury contributes to about 30% of all injury deaths.

About 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2013. For those who survive this type of injury, the profound effects can impact them for the remainder of their lives.

As a Richmond personal injury attorney, we thought it would be informative to answer some common questions about TBIs.

What are some symptoms of a TBI?

Because the brain is so complex and no two accidents or injuries are alike, the symptoms can range widely. Brain injuries are classified from mild to severe, and symptoms can often be subtle and don't necessarily appear immediately; it can take days or weeks for symptoms to manifest. If you've had a head trauma, be on the lookout for any of the following:

  • Change in attention span, ability to concentrate, or memory, or impulsiveness
  • Difficulty processing language, both understanding what's being said and also difficulty speaking clearly
  • Slurred speech, difficulty reading or a change in speech patterns
  • Vision loss, double vision, blurred vision, or intolerance to light
  • Hearing loss, ringing in the ears or increased sensitivity to sound
  • Emotional outbursts, irritability, aggression or sleep disorders
  • Seizures or convulsions

A brain injury can change a person's personality forever, and therefore can have a fundamental impact on their relationships with family and friends.

What causes a TBI?

Head injuries should always be treated with precaution, yet not all bumps, jolts or blows to the head will cause a TBI. Only when a head injury is serious enough to disrupt normal brain function is it considered a TBI. It doesn't necessarily take a major accident to impact brain function, and you don't necessarily have to be knocked unconscious to suffer a TBI. Common causes include motor vehicle accidents; slip and fall accidents; contact sports (football, rugby, boxing); non-contact sports (bicycling, gymnastics); workplace accidents; and assaults. A concussion is the mildest form of brain injury; most injuries categorized as TBIs fall under this category.

How will a brain injury impact a person's daily life?

No two brain injuries are exactly alike; they can cause a wide array of cognitive deficiencies. Some brain injury patients can no longer concentrate on complex tasks or solve intellectually demanding challenges, and therefore may be unable to hold a steady job. Other types of brain injury impact the brain's emotional center so that an affected person is prone to outbursts that can be quite alarming. Other brain injuries can affect a patient's physical ability to walk or use their limbs, and therefore may significantly impact their quality of life in that way.

If I have a brain injury, should I file a lawsuit?

If you, a family member or loved one has suffered a head injury that has led to changes in behavior, memory, and other brain functionality, you may have grounds for a legal case and may be entitled to compensation. The first thing to do if you suspect a brain injury is to seek medical help immediately.

Brain injury cases involve complex medical and legal issues, so if you believe a brain injury was caused by the negligence of another or due to a workplace injury, it's important to consult a qualified and experienced personal injury and brain injury lawyer, such as those at Commonwealth Law Group.

Your ability to bring a legal case is dictated by the circumstances of the accident or injury. As personal injury attorneys in Richmond, VA, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case. If you were injured because of the negligence of another and suffered a brain injury, you should consider legal action. Some TBI cases result in a substantial damage award because the injuries can require lifelong care for the physical, emotional and cognitive damage incurred by the brain. If your injuries prevent you from working or impact your ability to work at the same level as you could before the injury, you might be entitled to an award that compensates you for that loss.

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.