Pittsburgh, PA Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries that can alter a person’s entire life. If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury due to negligence, the Pittsburgh brain injury attorneys at Chaffin Luhana may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact us today.
About Brain Injuries
It is estimated that 1.7 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. TBI is believed to be linked to about a third of all U.S. deaths related to an injury. Most TBIs (75 percent) that happen annually are concussions or other less severe forms of TBI.
The condition is usually caused by:
- A blow, bump, or shock to the head
- Something that penetrates the skull, such as a knife or a bullet, and disrupts the normal function of the brain
The degree of damage caused by brain injuries ranges on a continuum from mild, such as a brief change in a person’s mental state or consciousness, to severe, which may be marked by an extended unconscious state or amnesia. The severity of the symptoms corresponds to the extent of brain damage. Most TBIs are concussions or other mild forms of the condition.
Persons most likely to have a TBI are 4 years old and younger, between 15 and 19 years of age, and older than 65. At every age, more males than females sustain TBIs. Boys from 0 to 4 years old have the most emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths from TBIs.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Among the many possible causes of brain injuries are:
- Falls: These are the number one cause (32 percent) of brain injury in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), persons older than 75 years have the highest rate of TBI.
- Motor vehicle accidents and crashes: This is the second most common cause of TBI (17.3 percent). Motor vehicles causing many TBIs include motorcycles, trucks and cars.
- Sports during which the head may be severely bumped or jolted.
- Being struck on the head by an object.
- Assaults (being knifed or shot in the head; being pushed against a hard object)
- Shaken baby syndrome: This occurs when a baby is shaken intensely. Because a baby has weak neck muscles and a large, heavy head, the delicate brain bounces from side to side in the skull. This may cause bruising, swelling, and bleeding and may lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries
The CDC separates the symptoms of TBI into two groups: mild or moderate to severe.
Mild TBI symptoms include:
- Persistent mild headache
- Difficulty with remembering, focusing, concentrating, organizing, making decisions and problem solving
- Being slow when it comes to thinking, speaking, acting or reading
- Getting lost or problems with confusion
- Constant low energy
- Sleep changes such as staying in bed longer and having insomnia
- Loss of balance, dizziness
- Less tolerance of sounds, lights, or distractions
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Ringing in the ears
- Sexual drive changes
- Mood changes
More severe symptoms may include the above plus the following:
- A headache that persists or worsens
- Repetitious vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Trouble waking
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Slurred speech
- Arms or legs that feel weak or numb
- Loss of coordination
- Growing confusion, restlessness, or agitation
Long-Term Complications of Traumatic Brain Injury
Many functional long-term changes may result from TBI. These changes include our ability to remember and to reason; our senses of pressure, touch, taste and smell; and our ability to communicate, express ourselves, or understand what someone is saying. Epilepsy can also be a long-term consequence of TBI. A person who has had a TBI has a higher risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other problems related to brain function that become more common as we age.
A series of mild TBIs that happen over a long time, even years, can produce an accumulation of cognitive and neurological deficiencies. If someone is exposed to repeated TBIs over a short period of time such as hours, days or weeks, the consequences may be catastrophic or fatal.
Compensation May Be Available
Brain injuries can affect a person and his or her family forever. At Chaffin Luhana, we recognize the devastation caused by brain injuries and will help you and your families get the compensation you need to move forward with your lives. Of course compensation can’t reverse the damage that has been done, but it can help ensure you receive the best treatment possible to help you achieve the highest quality of life.
To find out how we can help you, please contact our firm today.