Brain injuries are potentially the most severe type of injury you can experience after an accident with a large commercial truck. Serious brain injuries are commonly known as “Traumatic Brain Injuries,” or TBIs. Although neck and back injuries can also be quite painful and serious and may take days or even weeks to show symptoms, TBIs are the most difficult to diagnose and treat. Unless you’re very lucky, a collision with a large commercial truck will leave you with any number of serious injuries, including TBIs.
In an accident with a large commercial truck, TBIs can happen when the head impacts the steering column, dashboard, headrest, windshield, airbag, or a flying object, and may also be caused by an object, such as a piece of glass, penetrating the head and/or brain tissue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as a personal injury that hinders or interferes with how the brain processes information. It may be caused by a sudden impact to the head or some type of penetrating injury to the head, such as a gunshot wound. Generally speaking, TBIs are divided into three main categories:
- Severe TBIs
- Moderate TBIs
- Mild TBIs or concussions
The severity of these injuries ranges from mild concussions, which cause, among other symptoms, brief changes in mental status to severe concussions that cause extended periods of unconsciousness or memory loss. Fortunately, most brain injuries are mild concussions, but even so, as the number of concussions a person suffers rises in numbers, so do their cumulative effects. That is to say, 5-10 mild concussions can be as damaging as a single severe TBI. If you have suffered a TBI, let an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer at Searcy Denney help.
The CDC goes on to say that there were approximately 61,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2019. That’s about 166 TBI-related deaths every day.
What Are the Leading Causes of TBIs?
The CDC says that people most commonly suffer from TBIs from a fall, a firearm-related injury, a motor vehicle crash, or an assault. Research shows that:
- Falls lead to nearly half of TBI-related hospitalizations
- Firearm-related suicide is the most common cause of TBI-related deaths in the U.S.
- Motor vehicle crashes and assaults are other common ways a person may get a TBI
How Can My Doctors Identify All of the TBI-Related Injuries I Might Have Suffered?
People who have been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck should seek medical care immediately, even if they say they feel “fine.” TBI-related injuries may not be symptomatic for days or even weeks after an accident. TBIs can cause a person to exhibit a wide range of side effects, so it’s important to be aware of the common signs a person exhibits when they have one.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of a mild TBI include the following:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused, or disoriented
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Mild headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Strange tastes
- Altered sense of smell
- Concentration issues
- Memory deficiencies
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Depression or anxiety
The Mayo Clinic also lists some of the symptoms consistent with moderate or severe TBIs:
- Complete loss of consciousness
- Severe headaches
- Dilated pupils
- Clear fluids coming from the nose or eyes
- Recurrent vomiting and nausea
- Loss of coordination
- Numbness in the fingers and/or toes
- Slurred speech
TBI Symptoms May be Overlooked in Older Adults
Older adults are more likely to be hospitalized, or even die, from TBIs compared to other age groups. TBIs may be missed or misdiagnosed in older adults because symptoms of a TBI often overlap with other, more common, medical conditions among older adults, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Healthcare providers should check for signs and symptoms of TBI as a matter of routine if an older adult has been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck. This is especially important among older adults who are taking blood thinners. Blood thinners may increase the risk for bleeding in the brain following a TBI. Bleeding in the brain after a TBI puts an elderly adult at a higher risk for severe injury or death.
Childhood TBIs May Affect Brain Development
TBI affects children differently than adults. According to CDC’s Report to Congress on the Management of TBI in Children, “[t]he management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children is complex and depends upon multiple service delivery systems that frequently do not provide systematic or coordinated care to ensure a successful recovery…[c]hildren have the highest rate of emergency department visits for traumatic brain (TBI) injury of all age groups. TBI affects children differently than adults. An injury of any severity to the developing brain can disrupt a child’s development, and may result in restrictions in school and participation in activities (e.g., sports). As a result of TBI, children can experience changes in their health, thinking, and behavior that affect learning, self-regulation, and social participation, all of which are important in becoming a productive adult.”
How Can a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Help Identify All of My Potential Brain Injuries After a Truck Accident?
Ar Seary Denney, we are experienced in identifying all manner of injuries, both long and short term, and both obvious and hidden. We’ll consult with medical experts and perform our own independent investigation, and will fight for your financial compensation for all types of injuries, even those that have delayed or long-term symptoms. Contact us for your free consultation. We work entirely on a contingency fee basis, with no risk to you.