Car, truck, motorcycle and bicycle accidents are a leading cause of head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury usually occurs when the head strikes an object, such as a windshield, or when the brain undergoes a sudden acceleration/deceleration movement (as in a whiplash injury) without direct external trauma to the head. Many brain injuries are the result of bruising, bleeding, twisting or tearing of brain tissue. Damage to the brain may occur at the time of the accident, or develop over time as tissues swell and bleed within the head. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Colorado, a brain injury attorney at The Malman Law Firm can help.
The brain is several pounds of a jelly-like substance containing millions of microscopic fibers suspended in cerebrospinal fluid. The brain works by sending neuro-chemical signals across axonal-dendric connections known as synapses. When brain tissue is disturbed in an injury, these axonal-dendric connections can be disturbed or broken.
The brain has three main areas: the cortex, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. The cortex is the center where most of our thinking takes place; it has four lobes. The frontal lobe is considered a center for emotional and personality traits. The cerebellum controls our coordination and balance. The brain stem connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls survival functions, such as breathing, heart rate, consciousness and alertness.
Fortunately, the brain is protected by our skull or cranium. However, the inner surface of the skull contains ribbing and bony structures. If the brain moves forcefully inside the skull, it can be thrust into these bony structures causing injury. The frontal lobe is sometimes damaged in auto accidents because of its location near the front of the cranium, where the head would easily strike the windshield.
Contusion or Concussion
A contusion or concussion occurs when the brain is bruised by striking the cranium. The injury causes headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and problems remembering or concentrating. It can have long term consequences.
Anoxic Brain Injury
An injury that disrupts blood flow to the brain. An anoxic brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain usually through bleeding and swelling of brain tissue.
A skull fracture is a break in the bone that surrounds the brain. Often a skull fracture will heal on its own but if there is tissue damage below the fracture surgery may be required.
A contrecoup injury occurs when the brain is propelled against both sides of the skull. In this type of injury the brain will rebound and collide with the opposite sides of the skull, striking both sides of the skull, the result is a contrecoup injury.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
A DAI occurs with the rotation and disruption of the brain inside the skull which severs or shears the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers or axons. This damage can be microscopic and difficult to measure. In cases involving “mild brain injury” the effects may be not be long term. A more severe DAI can result in permanent disability, unconsciousness, and coma. Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for DAI. Recent studies indicate the damage to axons appears to progress over the first 12 to 24 hours after an injury has occurred. It is hoped that in the near future it may be possible to prevent the progression with specific treatments.
An epidural hematoma is the formation of a blood clot between the skull and the top lining of the brain (dura). This clot causes pressure changes in the brain and can require emergency surgery to relieve the pressure.
A subdural hematoma is the formation of a blood clot between the brain tissue and the dura. If it occurs slowly over several weeks it is referred to as a subdural hematoma. If it occurs quickly it is referred to an acute subdural hematoma. Like other clots, this may require emergency surgical correction.
If you have received a blow to the head and are suffering from a head or brain injury as a result of an accident you should see a doctor and contact an experienced Denver, Fort Collins and Greely traumatic brain injury attorney.
The science behind brain injuries is constantly changing and highly technical. Attorneys who handle these cases should have extensive resources and experience in the field. These cases often require the testimony of medical experts and psychological testing.
Should you require legal assistance due to a traumatic brain injury, please contact the Malman Law Firm for an immediate evaluation of your situation. The Malman Law Firm is here to help. We know this may be a very difficult time for you and your loved ones. The Denver, Fort Collins and Greely traumatic brain injury attorneys at the Malman Law Firm have dealt with many traumatic brain injury cases and can be an invaluable resource for information and, more importantly, assistance. Because we work on a contingency basis, you don’t have to pay until you have been compensated.