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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury & Why Is It So Difficult to Treat?

In the best-case scenarios, life following a serious car, truck, or motorcycle accident returns to normal after a period of recovery, with few lingering effects except some bad memories and the loss of the vehicle. In other situations, however, the accident may result in serious injuries called TBIs that have long-lasting effects. Sometimes these negative outcomes manifest immediately, while the severity of other injuries only becomes apparent over time. The results often prove disruptive to one’s life and ability to carry on with normal activities, such as work. What are these injuries, and why is it so challenging for doctors to provide effective treatment pathways for TBI patients?

What is a TBI? How Do They Occur?

TBI stands for “traumatic brain injury.” In its mildest form, we often colloquially refer to such TBIs as “concussions.” This is simply medical terminology to refer to a whole category of injuries that occur when an individual sustains some form of trauma to the head. For example, one of the most common injuries in car accidents is whiplash, resulting from the sudden “snapping” back-and-forth movement of the head and neck. While this is painful on its own, the extreme impact and shocking deceleration that accompany motor vehicle accidents have an effect inside your body, too.

The brain is not entirely stationary inside the skull, nor does it fill the cranial space. As a result, when subjected to extreme forces, it is possible for the brain to “bounce” or “ricochet” off the front or back of the cranium. The impact of brain matter on the skull causes bleeding and injuries, and the effects can be very mild or very complex. 

What Are the Possible Effects of Suffering a TBI?

No two traumatic brain injuries are the same. Just as bodies differ, so too do the conditions in every accident, making it difficult to draw direct comparisons between cases. Some people may experience headaches, dizziness, and nausea for hours or days after a TBI. In more severe cases, patients often report more substantial changes, such as sleep disruptions, sudden mood swings, and even unexpected behavioral changes. Patients may have seizures or lose the ability to coordinate their movements, making it difficult to maintain employment. In some cases, TBIs may not manifest their most severe symptoms for months or even years after the traumatic event.

What Makes Them So Challenging to Treat?

As we mentioned, every TBI is different. That factor combined with the sometimes latent effects of TBIs means that providing a single treatment pathway is virtually impossible. Mild TBIs often require no intervention or serious treatment and may resolve entirely on their own, while severe cases may necessitate expensive surgeries — sometimes on an emergency basis. Following a car accident involving a TBI, medical professionals may be able to provide advice. Still, there are few concrete ways of resolving the effects of a brain injury in the immediate aftermath. The unexplored nature of the brain makes predicting long-term effects very difficult. 

Finding Help If You’ve Suffered a TBI

Unfortunately, TBIs often prove very disruptive to daily life. For some, their quality of life may never be quite the same as it was before the accident. Loss of income due to the injury and its effects could become a significant source of stress. If you were injured in a motorcycle, car, or truck accident and you are experiencing symptoms of TBI, consider consulting with the experienced brain injury lawyers at HHJ Trial Attorneys today. HHJ has handled many TBI cases and has successfully recovered millions of dollars for their clients . To find out more, please contact us today.

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