Pennsylvania Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
A healthy brain doesn’t exactly stay still inside the head; rather, it floats inside the skull in a protective layer of fluid. Inside the brain are nerve cells called neurons that perform the functions of the brain; the connections between them, which carry messages to and from neurons, are essential to the brain’s normal function. Different physical areas of the brain are responsible for different brain functions. Although scientists don’t fully understand the relationship between parts of the brain and its functions, the cerebellum, for example, is thought to control movement and the senses.
When the brain sustains a blow, it can be damaged, causing an individual to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in several ways:
- The brain may be jolted violently within the skull, twisting and breaking the connections between neurons. A strong blow may damage the brain cells themselves. By itself, this is called a closed head injury. This is the type of injury most common in shaken baby syndrome, and in military TBIs sustained from blast injuries.
- The brain may be penetrated by a weapon, shrapnel or other loose objects, or by a piece of its own broken skull, damaging the brain cells directly. This is called a penetrating head injury, and it can occur along with a closed head injury.
- As a secondary injury, the brain may bleed heavily, which can cause further brain damage by depriving the brain of oxygen or building up pressure that can crush brain cells. Oxygen deprivation (ischemia, anoxia or hypoxia) kills brain cells within minutes by depriving them of the fuel they need to survive.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is concentrated in one area is called a focal head injury; one that injures neurons throughout the brain is called a diffuse head injury. Because a focal head injury is limited to a specific area of the brain, patients lose specific functions; a diffuse head injury can affect a variety of functions. Diffuse injuries to the neural connections occur in almost half of all serious head traumas, and are a leading cause of coma and vegetative state. In either case, doctors may not be able to accurately predict a patient’s injuries at first.
Once brain tissue has been destroyed, it cannot grow back the way other tissues do. That means that when part of the brain is damaged, those parts cannot do their jobs anymore, or they cannot do their jobs well, although the brain may find ways to adapt. Thus, a patient with a traumatic brain injury may lose certain functions for life. Those functions can include anything the brain controls: physical movement, unconscious regulation of body functions, intellectual tasks, the senses, learning, memory, emotional tasks and many more. In addition, patients with a traumatic brain injury are at increased risk for serious neurological problems, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and depression.
Traumatic brain injuries can alter a person’s quality of life for many years, if not indefinitely. Beyond the emotional and physical changes a TBI patient may experience, their families must also cope with seeing their loved one go through permanent disabilities, years of medical attention, physical therapy, and even personality changes. In addition to these challenges, TBI patients and their families often face financial obstacles due to the cost of required medical care and the loss of ability to work. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled Philadelphia TBI attorney, you and your family may be able to obtain compensation from negligent parties responsible for the traumatic brain injury. The experienced lawyers at Cherry Injury Law have assisted many TBI patients receive the compensation they deserve. For a free consultation of your brain injury case, call Cherry Injury Law today