Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most devastating injuries a person can suffer. You can fall at a construction site while working on a job, or during a deck collapse, due to faulty maintenance on a vacation rental. The Rhine Law Firm, P.C., has seen many such cases, and they are always serious. A TBI can have life-altering consequences for both you and your entire family. Here are the facts:
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain caused by external trauma or force; for example, your head hitting or being hit by a piece of planking when the surface you are standing on collapses. TBI usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. It may also be caused by an object that penetrates the skull, such as a sharp edge of stairs or a fragment of a shattered skull.
As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injury contributes to approximately 30% of all injury deaths in the U.S. In a single recent year, traumatic brain injuries resulted in:
- Approximately 2.5 million emergency room visits;
- Approximately 288,000 hospitalizations; and
- Nearly 57,000 deaths.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Common causes of traumatic brain injury, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, include:
- Falls: Overall, falls are the most common cause of TBI, particularly among young children and older adults. Deck collapses are an especially horrifying cause of falls, especially in properties that have been neglected by their owners and landlords. Rhine Law Firm, P.C., has handled several cases of this nature successfully for innocent victims.
- Motor vehicle crashes: Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Violence: Domestic violence, gunshot wounds, assaults, and child abuse are common causes of TBI. Violent shaking can cause traumatic brain injury in babies (shaken baby syndrome).
- Sports injuries: TBI can occur in high-impact sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, boxing, baseball, hockey, and skateboarding.
- Explosive blasts and combat injuries: Among active-duty military personnel, explosive blasts, penetrating wounds, blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, falls, and collisions with objects following a blast are common causes of traumatic brain injury. Gas or chemical explosions can lead to TBI in civilians.
Long-Term Effects of Severe TBI on the Individual
The CDC reports that the long-term effects of severe traumatic brain injury are similar to the effects of a chronic illness. TBI can lead to a wide range of issues that affect:
- Cognitive function: Lack of memory and attention
- Motor function: Impaired coordination and balance; weakness in the extremities
- Sensation: Issues with hearing and vision; impaired touch and perception
- Behavior: Depression, anxiety, aggression, personality changes, impairment in behavior control and emotional regulation
Severe TBI can cause coma or amnesia, and victims may undergo significant changes in their thinking and behavior. Moderate to severe TBI may also reduce lifespan.
Severe TBI: How It Affects the Entire Family
A severe head injury can impact all aspects of a victim’s life, including relationships with friends and family members. It can affect your ability to drive, work, perform household tasks, receive an education, or participate in daily activities. A brain injury can change the dynamics, balance, harmony, and functionality of a family forever. Even when the victim survives, family members often feel they’ve lost the person they once knew, and live with that loss every day. Victims and their spouses often have a loss of consortium (marital services, society, companionship, sexual gratification, and affection) as a result of the injury.
Why You Need an Attorney
After suffering from brain damage, victims will face many issues that did not exist before the fall. It is crucial to contact a local lawyer with experience handling brain injury cases as soon as possible. You will need strong legal backing to recover compensation for the full extent of your losses, both now and in the future.
Our trial attorneys at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., have decades of combined experience. Founder Joel R. Rhine has more than 30 years of experience and is nationally recognized for his trial work. We are tough advocates for victims of traumatic brain injury. Call us today at (910) 501-2474 to schedule a consultation, so we can discuss your options under North Carolina law.