Common Types of Brain Injuries in Virginia

Injuries to the brain can result in a lifetime of health complications, including impaired cognitive and motor function, personality changes, and sensory-perception impairment. The severity of the damages is not always related to the severity of the accident causing the injury. Sometimes, a brain injury may be caused by internal forces, such as pulmonary conditions or the inhalation of hazardous materials. Other times it may come from an external source, such as a motor vehicle collision or blunt force trauma. For a better understanding of the most common causes of brain injuries in Virginia, refer to this page as a general guide. Anyone who has suffered such injuries, however, should also contact a brain injury lawyer in Virginia.

Whether caused by an external force or internal force, and whether the incident seems mild or severe, the results can vary based on the timeliness of the initial medical care, the presence or lack of continued follow-up assessments, and other factors. While it is estimated that between 1.5 and 2 million individuals will suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) this year, those living with the lifelong effects of such an injury are estimated to be much closer to 5 million.

Many are never able to fully recover from an accident that causes brain trauma.  If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of the actions or negligence of another person or entity, contact a local Virginia brain injury lawyer to find out more about the compensation available to TBI victims and their families.

Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Accidents happen each and every day.  While many may cause only mere inconvenience or minor injuries, countless Americans suffer from serious accidents, which can have a major impact on their lives.  A simple fall on the sidewalk may leave an individual with some scrapes, bruising, or maybe even a fracture. But if a person strikes his head in a seemingly minor fall, the blow to the head may result in irreversible brain trauma. Falls from an elevated surface are even more likely to result in traumatic brain injury.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the accident types which are most often responsible for sending individuals to the hospital for brain injuries include the following:

  • Slip and falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strong impacts (related to sports and other physical activities)
  • Assaults

The statistics indicate that these four types of incidents are responsible for nearly 80 percent of all TBI cases. The remaining 20 percent or so of cases may include internal or health factors, other accident types, or other unreported causes.

Brain Injuries Caused by Falls

Slip and falls are by far the single, leading cause of traumatic brain injury, accounting for more than 35 percent of all reported TBI cases. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to TBI from a fall. Approximately half of all traumatic brain injuries in children under the age of 14 are caused by falls, and falls also account for nearly two-thirds of all traumatic brain injuries sustained by adults aged 65 and over.

Motor Vehicle Accidents and TBI

Traffic accidents account for the second highest number of TBI, according to the CDC. In a motor vehicle accident, a brain injury may be either a closed head injury or an open head/penetrating injury. In a closed head injury, the sudden change in momentum and deceleration caused when the vehicle collides with another vehicle or object can cause excessive movement of the brain within the skull. In more serious collisions, which might include an extremely forceful impact, broken glass, roadway debris, or other objects may cause an open head wound or a puncture wound by which foreign material is allowed to penetrate the brain. If the head strikes an object in the car or outside of the vehicle, the traumatic impact may cause a closed head injury, or it may fracture the skull, causing bone fragments to penetrate the brain in an open head injury. In either case, the disruption of the brain’s typical functions and patterns can cause irreparable damage to the brain.

“Struck By” and “Struck Against” Injuries

Many organized sports require the use of protective head gear in an attempt to prevent head and brain injuries.  In football, a collision with another player can jar the individuals so severely as to damage the brain within the skull. In baseball, a speeding ball or swinging bat to the head can cause serious brain injury.

Aside from sports, serious brain injuries can occur any time one collides with a moving or even stationary object. An individual with diverted attention who walks into an object or hard surface, or someone who bumps his or her head may be faced with life-altering brain damage. Falling objects may also cause traumatic brain injury if the object strikes the head of a victim.

Assault Injuries

Shaken Baby Syndrome, in which a small child or infant is shaken or severely jostled, is known as an Inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury (ITBI) or Abusive Head Trauma (AHT.)  This instance of abuse is the number one cause of child abuse-related death, causing fatal injury in at least one of every four babies who are violently-shaken each year. This, and other forms of domestic abuse, results in a number of head trauma cases each year.

TBI can also result from other forms of assault, which include gunshot wounds, battery, and other forms of physical or violent acts of aggression.

Work with a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Enduring the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be very trying not only for the victim, but for his or her loved ones as well. If you or someone you love is suffering from a TBI because of the carelessness, recklessness, maliciousness, or negligence of another, contact a brain injury lawyer in Virginia to discuss your claim in a free case evaluation. For more information about the financial compensation you can receive from those liable for your suffering, contact our law offices today.