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Traumatic Brain Injury—An Overview

The Chicago brain injury lawyers at Morici, Longo & Associates have over two decades of experience in the representation of brain injury victims, whether they have been injured on the job or in a personal injury accident. This is the first in a series of articles covering the topic of traumatic brain injury (TBI), including brain injury symptoms, complications of brain injuries and how to prevent brain injury accidents.

How Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen

Most people do not completely understand the anatomy of the brain or the effects trauma can have upon its structures. Unfortunately, neither do most of their doctors. Some think a loss of consciousness is required to diagnose a brain injury, for instance. That is not true.

Any blow to the head, jolt to the body, or whiplash effect of sudden acceleration-deceleration upon the head can cause brain injury.

Most TBIs are closed head injuries, and those are the ones we will focus on here. A closed head injury refers to an injury to the brain where the skull is not fractured or penetrated. The brain is said to have the consistency of a Jell-O mold—in a closed head injury, the brain bounces back and forth inside the skull. As a result, its tissue and cellular level neurons can be bruised, stretched, or torn. Sometimes there can be bleeding within the brain—this is called a subdural hematoma and is diagnosed clinically and by CT scan. In most cases, however, the injury to the tissue and the function of the brain is not evidenced by discernible bleeding.

Symptoms of TBI

Immediate effects of a TBI can be the loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes or longer or no loss of consciousness but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented. Often the immediate effects of traumatic brain injury are described as “being stunned“ or having one’s “bell rung.” Frequently, the injury may be accompanied by amnesia of the event. Clients have described situations where they don’t remember being taken into an ambulance or have no memory before waking up in the emergency room.

The victim of a traumatic brain injury can often experience headache, nausea, speech difficulties, sleep interruption, and dizziness or a loss of balance. In addition, sensory problems such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or changes in taste or smell may occur. Many patients experience sensitivity to light or difficulty processing information and being troubled in “busy settings.“ This is medically referred to as “sensory overload” and is not an uncommon experience. Family members often report seeing behavioral changes in the injured person. These can include difficulty carrying on a conversation, inability to concentrate, and irritability or other personality changes.

How Morici, Longo & Associates Can Help

Brain injuries are serious and can be permanently life-changing events. Our team at MLA analyzes each traumatic event to determine the presence of even a mild brain injury that may have been overlooked as other trauma such as fractured bones or spinal injuries were addressed. Whether our client is an injured construction worker, a motorist, or a pedestrian, often the effects of a TBI can be the most long-lasting of their injuries.

We will address some of the above in greater detail in future writings. You can review prior writings on this and other personal injury subjects on the Morici, Longo & Associates website.

In the meantime, if you, your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members have been injured at work or have suffered a personal injury, please do not hesitate to contact our Chicago brain injury attorneys online or at(312) 779-0366.