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Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

On this space we often discuss legal cases involving brain injuries, advances in brain injury medicine, and share information about support groups for victims. Yet, our Chicago brain injury lawyers also realize that from time to time it is important to step back and provide basic information about these injuries, how they are treated, and how they come up in a legal context.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to all head injuries caused by sudden trauma. That trauma usually results when the head makes a violent collision with another object or the ground. TBIs often arise is sports, slips and falls, auto accidents, and similar events. This form of brain injury should be distinguished from degenerative brain injuries, like those characterized by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

TBIs exist along a spectrum of severity, with various consequences and symptoms for victims. Mild TBI leads t headaches, confusion, dizziness, vision problems, fatigue, sleep problems, mental slowness, and similar concerns. These symptoms may only last temporarily. However, more severe TBIs can have significant consequences. Severe TBI symptoms include vomiting, convulsions, unconsciousness, slurred speech, coordination loss, and numbness in the extremities. In all cases, it is absolutely crucial that medical help be sought as quickly as possible. When not treated properly, preventable damage can often worsen and lead to lifelong problems
What are the Available Treatments?

Most TBI treatment is focused on stabilization of the patient. That is because it is often difficult, if not impossible, for the initial brain damage caused by the trauma to be repaired. Oxygen deprivation to the brain is a significant caused of deterioration, and so much treatment focuses on ensuring that there is proper oxygen supply to the brain and body. In addition, blood flow must be returned to the organ with blood pressure properly controlled. In more severe cases, CT scans are performed to specifically understand that state of the victim’s brain. In that way, tailored treatment can be provided depending on the harm. That treatment often includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech assistance, psychology, social support, and similar aid.

What are Brain Injury Lawsuits?

When our Chicago injury lawyers refer to brain injury lawsuits, it actually includes a wide range of legal cases. Areas of the law and areas of medicine are not directly aligned, and so there is not always perfect overlap when discussing the legal implications of certain types of harm. In general, these cases are usually rooted in the law of negligence, either caused by misconduct in the community (like a car accident) or in the hospital (medical malpractice). In rare cases a different area of the law may be implicated by a brain injury lawsuit-such as products liability. When a product (including a pharmaceutical drug) causes a brain injury, the legal rules that apply to that situation would be different that those that apply to negligence. At the end of the day, though, all brain injury victims who suspect that their harm may have been prevented had another acted in a more reasonable way should visit with a legal professional to get tailored advice and learn if it is appropriate to seek legal recourse.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

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