Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs

Brain injuries are some of the most devastating injuries a person can experience, though there is much misconception about what they are. The truth is that it is difficult to get a complete definition of a traumatic brain injury because these injuries have such a range of signs and symptoms. Some brain injuries are relatively mild, while others are incredibly severe for victims.

This post answers several common questions related to brain injury but is not exhaustive because every injury is unique. If you or a loved one has received a brain injury due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Mankato personal injury lawyer at Knutson+Casey today to discuss your case in a free consultation.

What is Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to recent studies, there are more than 5.3 million people living with disabilities caused by brain injuries in the United States. A traumatic brain injury is defined as a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain.

There are various ways in which a person can sustain a brain injury. Some of the most common traumatic causes of these injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshot wounds or other violence
  • Explosions

There are also several non-traumatic causes of brain injuries, which can include:

  • Stroke
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Tumors
  • Other illness such as cancer
  • Brain infections or inflammation
  • Other infections

Does a Brain Injury Shorten Life Expectancy?

Studies indicate that long-term death rates may be increased following a traumatic brain injury. However, the degree to which survival is reduced is based on several factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does point out that even after surviving a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, a person’s life expectancy is approximately nine years shorter than a person who has not sustained a brain injury.

It is vital that a person receive the medical care they need after sustaining a traumatic brain injury. If the injury was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, a brain injury victim must get help from an attorney in order to obtain the care and compensation they deserve.

Can a Brain Injury Get Worse Over Time?

The CDC says that a traumatic brain injury can lead to “a lifetime of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes.” Not only do they affect a person’s ability to function in everyday life, but they can even get worse over time. According to a CDC study, the five-year outcomes of a person with a brain injury were as follows:

  • 22% died
  • 30% became worse
  • 22% stayed the same
  • 26% improved

Please understand that there are various factors that go into whether a person’s situation improves or worsens. This includes the initial severity of the injury, the level of care a brain injury victim receives, and how much support they have from friends and family in their recovery.

Even minor brain injuries can get worse over time if they are not recognized and properly treated. For example, a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury. If a person does not receive proper treatment for the injury, the concussion could progress into a more severe injury, especially if the victim receives another blow to the head.

What is the Cost of Care for TBIs?

The cost of care for brain injuries can be tremendous. Initial emergency medical costs for a brain injury can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, initial medical costs are only part of the overall expenses. Brain injury victims and their families also have the following to consider:

  • Lost income if the victim cannot work
  • Long-term or in-home medical care
  • Cost of medical devices that are necessary
  • Pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life damages