The High Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury

February 11, 2016

The brain is the single most important part of our body. It is also one of the most delicate. It controls everything we do, and even small injuries to the brain can create serious problems. According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. 75 percent of TBIs are concussions or other smaller types of trauma that people are able to recover from. However, of the 2.5 million that suffer TBIs, 2.2 million seek medical room attention, 280,000 require hospitalization, and more than 50,000 die. TBIs account for almost one third of deaths from an injury and add up to $60 billion in lost productivity and medical costs nation-wide.

How Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect a Victim

A traumatic brain injury involves damage to the nerve cells within the brain, disabling their normal ability to send messages to one another. Depending on the part or parts of the brain that were damaged, a TBI can affect someone physically, cognitively, or emotionally/behaviorally. Brain injuries can take weeks, months, and even years to recover. Full recovery may not be possible depending on the severity of the injury. It is important to find out where the brain was injured when dealing with treatment for a traumatic brain injury.

Left and Right Brain

The left hemisphere of the brain controls the movements and sensation of the right side of the body, while the right hemisphere controls the left side. Damage to the left side of the brain could result in loss of movement or weakness in the right side of the body. Most people’s left brain hemisphere controls speech and logic. If the left side is damaged, it may affect the person’s ability to read, write, speak, listen, and it may also impair their memory for words. The right half of the brain, for most people, controls nonverbal and intuitive emotions such as recognizing patterns, understanding music and art, and expressing emotions and comprehending emotions of others.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

There are four types of injuries that can lead to a TBI. An internal loading injury is the result of the brain hitting the inside surface of the skull without a direct blow from another object. Imagine a severe case of whiplash as a person comes to a sudden stop in a car accident. They may not hit their head on anything, but the force put upon their head and brain was so great that it caused the brain to slam into the front of the skull. An impact loading injury is the opposite. It is the result of a foreign object coming into contact with the head (imagine taking a bad fall and hitting your head on the ground). The combination of an impact and internal loading injury is a coup-contrecoup injury. This injures the brain in more than one place, which worsens the effects of any TBI. Lastly, a penetration injury occurs when a foreign object passes through the skull into the brain. Penetration injuries are often fatal.

If you or a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury through no fault of your own, such as in a car collision, working on the job, or during an unsafe premises accident, you may be able to collect compensation. Contact The Connell Law Firm, LLC today to speak to one of our experienced Columbia personal injury attorneys. We serve clients in Columbia, South Carolina, and all across the state.