Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) And Concussions

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often heard in discussions of vehicle accident injuries, motorcycle accidents, and other types of injuries.

As mentioned on the “Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use” page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated in its “Motorcycle Safety” (pdf)  that:

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of motorcycle crash death. Even when not fatal, these debilitating head injuries can mean a lifetime of costly rehabilitation and severe emotional trauma for family and friends. In fact, treating severe traumatic brain injuries costs 13 times more than non-brain injuries.

The CDC has a page for traumatic brain injury which has a variety of statistics and discussion of this injury topic.

As seen on this page:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. In 2010 2.5 million TBIs occured either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries.

As to how TBI occurs, the page provides the following explanation:

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.

Mayo Clinic also has a page for Traumatic brain injury in which it provides a similar explanation, as well as a number of other resources regarding TBI.

Of course, any time a head injury occurs, one should have it immediately assessed by a qualified medical professional, as such head injuries can often be serious, and in some cases fatal.  As seen in the “Severe Traumatic Brain Injury” page:

Each year, TBIs contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. In fact, TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.1 In 2010, approximately 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury.

As also seen on this Severe Traumatic Brain Injury page:

Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents result in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8%).

Concussions that occur due to motorcycle accidents are another source for concern.   Concussions have received considerable attention lately with regard to their incidence in sports, particularly football.  The long-term implications concerning concussions has gained considerable recognition.

How these concussions should be diagnosed and treated is of particular concern.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published a page titled “HEADS UP to Brain Injury and Awareness.”

As well, there is also a page titled “Concussion Danger Signs,” that includes “Danger Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion.”  As stated on the page:

In rare cases, a dangerous collection of blood (hematoma) may form on the brain after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that may squeeze the brain against the skull. Call 9-1-1 right away, or take your child or teen to the emergency department if he or she has one or more of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body:

  • One pupil larger than the other.

  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up.

  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away.

  • Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.

  • Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching).

  • Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.

  • Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out). Even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously.

As to how to prevent concussions, various recommendations can be seen on the CDC “Concussion Prevention” page.

How concussions impact long-term health has been the subject of considerable attention and debate.  The CDC discusses the subject on its “Complications of Concussion” page.  An excerpt:

Concussion may cause a wide range of short- or long-term complications, affecting thinking, sensation, language or emotions. These changes may lead to problems with memory, communication, personality changes, as well as depression and the early onset of dementia.

The page then discusses a wide range of potential complications of concussion.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there are many steps that you should take including getting a thorough medical examination by a medical professional, as well as protecting your legal rights and attaining appropriate injury (and other harm) compensation.  Often, people choose to retain a qualified personal injury attorney to seek maximum compensation for injuries and other harm sustained in an accident.

If you or someone close to you has suffered an Illinois motorcycle accident – or if someone you care for is killed in such an accident – call Elman Joseph Law Group for a free, no-obligation consultation.  Elman Joseph Law Group has handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury cases over the last 20+ years, and we have concentrated on Illinois personal injury cases involving vehicle accidents, including those involving motorcycles.  Through this intense focus, we have achieved notable success in both court verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, can be contacted directly at (773) 392-8182.