Traumatic brain injuries are serious incidents that may leave a victim with aggravating symptoms throughout the remainder of their life. Depending on the nature of the accident and injury, a victim may experience a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury. Each classification of a traumatic brain injury has different recovery prognoses for victims.
Learn about the various classifications of traumatic brain injuries and what you may be able to expect for the recovery process.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury may occur as a result of a blow or strike to the head. There a variety of circumstances in which a person may acquire a traumatic brain injury, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, assaults, and more.
Because the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are difficult to detect even on modern imaging equipment, many victims experience a delay in their diagnosis. This can be extremely detrimental for the victim, as traumatic brain injuries may increase in severity and duration the longer they go untreated.
Those who have been in a serious accident and now experience the following symptoms of a traumatic brain injury should visit a doctor as soon as possible:
Lack of communication
Inability to conform behavior
Inability to respond to stimuli in a pre-injury manner
Issues with smell and taste
Difficulty with memory and recall
The earlier a traumatic brain injury is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances a victim has of making a full recovery. This is why it’s vital to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as you experience the aforementioned symptoms. Even if you do not experience any symptoms, it’s still in your best interest to seek medical attention after an accident because many symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are “invisible” or extremely difficult to detect.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Generally, traumatic brain injuries fall into the following three classifications: mild, moderate, and severe. The level of injury that a victim acquires may help predict their recovery process. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these predictions are not always accurate. Some severe traumatic brain injury victims make significant progress in their recovery, while some mild traumatic brain injury victims experience symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Most concussions are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries, and generally resolve on their own within days to weeks with proper treatment and rest. Traumatic brain injuries are classified as mild if the following are true:
The victim experienced any loss of consciousness and post-traumatic amnesia less than 24 hours.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries
Those who have experienced a serious concussion, hemorrhage, coma, or skull fracture have typically sustained a moderate traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are classified as moderate if the following are true:
The victim experienced loss of consciousness from 20 minutes to six hours and post-traumatic amnesia less than 24 hours.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
Those who have experienced trauma to the head that threatens their life have typically suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are classified as severe if the following are true:
The victim experienced loss of consciousness longer than six hours and post-traumatic amnesia greater than 24 hours.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
A traumatic brain injury may occur in a variety of circumstances that involve a blow to the head, including car accidents, sports injuries, slip and fall accidents, assaults, and more. Generally, a traumatic brain injury happens when the brain experiences a direct external impact, sudden acceleration then stoppage, or sudden deceleration.
Condensed to its most simplistic explanation, there are three major mechanisms by which a traumatic brain injury occurs, including the following:
Impact of the brain against the skull
Shear between layers of the brain
In most situations, a traumatic brain injury occurs when the victim’s head begins a sudden movement while the brain resists, leaving a space at the back of the skull. Since the inner contours of the skull have sharp, bony protuberances, the victim’s brain may be torn and bruised upon impact, resulting in brain damage.
During a shear-type injury, one layer of the brain sides upon another. This often occurs due to rapid rotational acceleration and deceleration.
During a cavitation-type injury, the brain moves rapidly through the fluid in the brain cavity due to sudden acceleration or deceleration. This rapid movement results in vapor-filled bubbles forming in the low-pressure area. When the brain bounces back to its original position, the bubbles collapse and subsequently injure the brain.
Can You Recover from a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The recovery process for a traumatic brain injury varies greatly depending on several factors. The most important determining factors in a traumatic brain injury victim’s recovery prognosis include, but are not limited to, the following:
The nature of the accident and the severity of the injury
The victim’s access to high-quality medical treatment and rehabilitative care
The victim’s emotional support system through their recovery
The victim’s mental attitude and motivation to work toward recovery
It’s important to keep in mind that the brain is the most complex system in our body, and everyone reacts to an accident and injury differently. As mentioned previously, some severe traumatic brain injury victims make significant strides in their recovery while some mild traumatic brain injury victims experience symptoms throughout their lifetime.
A victim’s time to diagnosis, access to medical treatment, and emotional support system all play major roles in that victim’s recovery. Keeping a positive attitude, however, is one of the most meaningful things a traumatic brain injury victim can do for themselves to aid in their recovery.
Sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury? We’re Here to Help
If you or someone you love has received a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys are here to help. At Scarlett Law Group, we specialize in representing those suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and we understand the physical, psychological, and financial toll this type of injury can have on a victim’s life.
We’re here to help you recover the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical treatment, rehabilitative care, and lost wages. We have recovered millions for clients in the same situation as you.
We encourage you to contact Scarlett Law Group today at (415) 688-2176 to learn how we can assist you.