What is a Traumatic Brain Injury and How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Help you After an Accident

Hiring a Metairie Brain Injury Lawyer or New Orleans Brain Injury Attorney can help you following an accident where you sustained head trauma.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury, also known as a “TBI” usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.


Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. Some head injuries can be minor - bumping your head when you are getting out of the car and feeling it throb with a mild headache. More than half are serious enough to require the injured person to be rushed to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Following an accident, head trauma can lead to serious brain injury. Many of us may minimize symptoms that could indicate you have a mild traumatic brain injury or a more serious traumatic brain injury.

What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Half of all traumatic brain injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention, 1.5 million Americans sustain a brain injury each year, and 50,000 die as a result of the traumatic brain injury. Over 1 million people are treated in hospitals for their traumatic brain injury.

Common events causing traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Falls. Falls from bed or a ladder, down stairs, in the bath and other falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury overall, particularly in older adults and young children.

  • Vehicle-related collisions. Collisions involving cars, motorcycles or bicycles — and pedestrians involved in such accidents — are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.

  • Violence. Gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse and other assaults are common causes. Shaken baby syndrome is a traumatic brain injury in infants caused by violent shaking.

  • Sports injuries. Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by injuries from a number of sports, including soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact or extreme sports. These are particularly common in youth.

  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries. Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in active-duty military personnel. Although how the damage occurs isn't yet well-understood, many researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain significantly disrupts brain function.

    Traumatic brain injury also results from penetrating wounds, severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, and falls or bodily collisions with objects following a blast.

What do I do if I suspect I have a Traumatic Brain Injury following an accident?

The signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes

  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fatigue or drowsiness

  • Problems with speech

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Sleeping more than usual

  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory symptoms

  • Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell

  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Memory or concentration problems

  • Mood changes or mood swings

  • Feeling depressed or anxious

The signs and symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours

  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens

  • Repeated vomiting or nausea

  • Convulsions or seizures

  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes

  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears

  • Inability to awaken from sleep

  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes

  • Loss of coordination

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Profound confusion

  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior

  • Slurred speech

  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

Children's symptoms

Infants and young children with brain injuries might not be able to communicate headaches, sensory problems, confusion and similar symptoms and they may be more susceptible to a head injury. In a child with traumatic brain injury, you may observe:

  • Change in eating or nursing habits

  • Unusual or easy irritability

  • Persistent crying and inability to be consoled

  • Change in ability to pay attention

  • Change in sleep habits

  • Seizures

  • Sad or depressed mood

  • Drowsiness

  • Loss of interest in favorite toys or activitiesIf you suffer any of the following symptoms after an accident, you should consult with a medical professional.

Always see your doctor if you or your child has received a blow to the head or body that concerns you or causes behavioral changes. Seek emergency medical care if there are any signs or symptoms of traumatic brain injury following a recent blow or other traumatic injury to the head.

Hiring an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer or Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help You

While many traumatic brain injuries resolve in the months following a motor vehicle accident, traumatic brain injuries can be permanent, life-changing, and affect the lives of both victims and their families. If your traumatic brain injury is the result of an accident or caused by the negligence of another, it is important to consult a Metairie Brain Injury Lawyer or New Orleans Brain Injury lawyer for a consultation. These cases can be complicated and it is important to consult a Metairie Brain Injury Lawyer or New Orleans Brain Injury lawyer who has experience handling these cases. Our attorneys have successfully handled dozens of traumatic brain injury cases in the greater New Orleans area. If you suspect you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, call us for a free consultation on how we can assist you with your claim.

- Megan C. Kiefer is a partner and trial lawyer at Kiefer & Kiefer, who specializes in personal injury law and has handled many traumatic brain injury cases.

 This is being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

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Megan Kiefer