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Injury Library

Traumatic Brain Injuries

If your accident left you with a traumatic brain injury, we want to hear your story. No two cases are alike, and having an experienced brain injury lawyer analyze your potential case is critical to protecting your rights.

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Traumatic Brain Injury
The following document is designed to be a comprehensive resource for personal injury victims who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In more than 20 years of representing injured people throughout Indiana, Boulton Law Group has witnessed every type of injury imaginable. Of all the injuries our clients have sustained, it is difficult to name one more unpredictable or serious than a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Unlike other injuries, a significant number of third-party resources will be needed to ensure the victim returns to the highest level of health, both physically and psychologically.

Depending on the severity of the TBI any number of professionals can play a key role in the person’s follow-up care, including specialized health care specialists, experienced legal representation, occupational therapists, financial planners, neurological doctors, etc.

With regard to legal help, attorney Matt Boulton and his staff guide brain injury victims and their families through each of the appropriate channels and monitor all recovery efforts to help ensure clients not only reach peak recovery in terms of their health, but that they are also justly compensated for their injuries.

No matter your question or concern, Boulton Law Group is here to help brain injury victims and their families with all of their needs.

How common are brain injuries?

Our clients are often surprised when we talk to them about brain injury statistics. In fact, the yearly incidents of brain injury and the frequency with which they occur can easily lead one to believe that our country faces a silent epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2014 saw 2.87 million people who suffered a brain injury that resulted in an ER visit, hospitalization, or death. This statistic alone makes it quite evident that brain injuries are hardly rare.

CDC statistics also note that between 2006-2014, the number of people who suffered a brain injury that led to ER visits, hospitalization, or death, increased by more than 50%, and in 2014, 155 people died each day from a brain-related injury.

Types of brain injuries

Depending on the severity of the accident and mechanisms involved, brain injury victims may suffer one or more of the following types of TBIs:

Contusion – Often the least severe of brain injury types, a contusion occurs when small blood vessels leak onto the brain’s surface, otherwise known as bruising.

And while the term “contusion” does not always conjure up a high level of seriousness or concern, these brain injuries can in fact be severe, depending on the force of the blow to the head.

It is always suggested that you seek out a doctor’s opinion with regard to any head injury.

Concussion – Largely due to widespread sports media coverage over the last several years, concussions have become one of the most well-known brain injury types.

Put simply, a concussion occurs when the brain strikes the inner surface of your skull. The mechanism responsible for this contact is caused by a sudden acceleration and deceleration of the head.

As such, concussions are one of the most common head injuries associated with car accidents. Collisions often cause a vehicle occupant to either strike their head on a hard object, or result in a sudden stop or jerking motion that whips the head, leading to the brain striking the inside of the skull.

If it is not termed severe by your doctor, a single concussion will often times not result in a long-term medical diagnosis, however, repeated concussions can lead to significant or permanent conditions.

Diffuse Axonal – Similar to a concussion in that it occurs as a result of brain movement, Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) is also one of the most severe TBI’s a person can sustain.

For the injury to occur, a person’s brain must have incurred a tearing of its long connecting nerve fibers (axons) as a result of rapid acceleration and deceleration.

DAI often causes damage to many areas of the brain and leaves the person in a coma, though loss of consciousness may last for a shorter period in some cases than others.

Penetration – Victims who suffer a penetrating brain injury will require immediate emergency surgery.

The injury often occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull and makes contact with the brain, often a result of violent incidents such as a gunshot, stabbing, or being struck with any number of blunt objects.

In some cases a penetration brain injury occurs as a result of a fall or other accident that causes the skull to fracture and make contact with the brain.

Coup-Contrecoup – This injury occurs when injuries occur simultaneously on opposite sides of the brain.

To better understand how the injury can occur, it is best explained by using a car accident as an example.

Imagine a person is struck from behind at a high rate of speed, causing them to hit their head on the dashboard or other hard surface of their vehicle. The initial point of impact is made with the person’s forehead, causing the brain to strike the front of the skull, or the “coup” injury, and then bounce back to hit the back wall of the skull, or the “contrecoup” injury.

This type of TBI can result in severe damage that will require immediate emergency care and long-term care.

In some instances, accident victims have also been found to have incurred secondary effects from a brain injury and ultimately suffered from the following types of acquired brain injuries:

Anoxic – This type of brain injury occurs after the brain is completely cut off from an oxygen source, resulting in cell depletion.

Near drownings or other accidents near water are commonly associated with Anoxic brain injuries, as are exposure to toxic materials.

Hypoxic – This type of brain injury is diagnosed when there has been a restriction on the levels of oxygen that is available to the brain.

What about skull fractures?

While a skull fracture does not technically qualify as a brain injury, it is important to understand why this injury type often leads to one of the diagnoses listed above.

Because the majority of our bones contain bone marrow, it enables them to absorb the shock of a blow, however, it also leaves them more susceptible to fracture. By contrast, our skull is without bone marrow, leaving it unable to soften the force of an impact, thus increasing the likelihood of a brain injury.

No two brain injuries are alike. Depending on the severity of your accident and circumstances that caused the injury, each person will sustain unique after-effects and require individualized care.