Brain injuries are classified as either mild, moderate or severe. These distinctions are based on the length of time a person loses consciousness due to some traumatic event.We view each of our brain injury cases as extremely serious and significant whether they involved a coma or not.
A brain injury can occur without significant loss of consciousness even when imaging studies such as a CT scan or an MRI are negative. Sadly, we see many missed brain injury diagnoses. A person can have a permanent brain injury even if they were not hit on the head. Most people agree that a brain injury can occur due to the head being struck or due to acceleration/deceleration movement of the brain such as whiplash, even without direct or external trauma to the head. The severity often depends on the length of coma or loss of consciousness.
Brain Injury criteria includes one or more of the following:
- A period of loss of consciousness
- A loss of memory of events immediately before or after the incident
- Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (dazed, disoriented, confused)
- Having specific neurological deficits or objective side effects
Brain Injuries Without A Coma
There are five factors to determine when a brain injury without a coma could lead to a permanent traumatic brain injury. These factors include the following:
- Biomechanical forces
- Any period of loss of consciousness
- A change in mental state
- Focal neurological deficits
The Biomechanics of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries can be categorized as impact, cavitation and shear injuries.
- Impact Injuries: Includes the head being struck or the brain striking the skull’s interior.
- Cavitation Injuries: This occurs when tiny microbubbles form as a result of a rapid change in pressure inside the brain due to rapid movement. The rapid movement can create tiny explosions in these microbubbles which can damage brain tissue.
- Shear Injuries: The brain is made up of different types of matter each of which has a different density. When the brain is subjected to significant trauma these different layers are accelerated or decelerated at different speeds and thin connecting brain fibers can cross through these layers. When these layers are torn or stretched, shearing occurs within the brain. Shear injuries can occur when the brain is subjected to a quick back and forth whiplash effect. While seatbelts can prevent the head from hitting the windshield, it can also increase acceleration inside the brain due to the “whipping” effect.
As personal injury lawyers our role is to know immediately if there is a loss of consciousness. We use a detailed brain injury questionnaire for this purpose. We specifically ask the client to remember almost every sequence of what occurred to test their memory.
We probe to see if there is a gap in memory. We seek to find out if there is an altered mental state or subsequent loss of consciousness. We later look for neurological deficits in short and long term memory, reasoning, attention, concentration, executed functioning and other cognitive factors.
The Nadrich & Cohen TBI checklist
- Loss of Consciousness
- Change in mental state
- Biomechanical potential for injury
- Blurred Vision
Other Physical Symptoms:
- Sleep Disturbance
- Sensory Loss
- Seizures/Abnormal Twitching
If you or a loved one suffered a closed head brain injury due to an injury accident you need a brain injury lawyer who has extensive experience successfully representing brain injury victims. We know what you are going through. We know how to successfully pursue a brain injury case. We are contingency lawyers so there is no cost to you until we obtain a recovery from the responsible parties. Please contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We will immediately respond to you.