Brain injuries are devastating events that can have life-changing consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your suffering. To schedule a free case review with a San Diego personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C. today.
There are two types of brain injuries, determine by the cause. These are closed head injuries and open head injuries.
Closed head injury results from sudden forceful trauma to the head. The head is violently thrust into the skull, causing injury to the brain tissue. This might happen in a car accident, a fall on the football field, or being hit hard on the head with some object. If a portion of the skull is fractured and penetrates brain tissue, this can also cause traumatic brain injury.
In the case of a closed head injury, nerve damage is usually diffuse, covering a large area of the brain, even though the initial damage can be done to a very specific area. Open head injury results from something penetrating the skull and the brain. A bullet wound to the brain is an example of an open head injury.
Assessing Traumatic Brain Injuries
When a person has a head injury, the quicker the assessment of the type and extent of injury the better, so proper treatment can begin as quickly as possible in an attempt to limit the degree of damage to the body. First, it is important to find the answers to a number of questions:
- How severely were the body and head impacted?
- Did the injured person lose consciousness?
- If unconscious, for how long did the person remain so?
- What other areas of the head or body were impacted?
- How did the injury occur?
- What information is there about the force of the injury?
One of the tools doctors and emergency medical teams use to assess the brain-injured person when first seen is the Glasgow Coma Scale. The scale measures a person’s consciousness from three to 15. The lower the number, the greater the amount of damage the person has sustained.
Three types of responses are measured:
- Eye opening response
- Verbal response
- Motor response
To determine a person’s final score, the scores from each of the three parameters are added. As an example, a person in a coma scores a total of between three and eight points.
- Eye Opening Response can range from four points to one point. Someone who spontaneously opens their eyes scores a four. A person who does not open their eyes, scores a one.
- Verbal response can range from five to one. The person who is oriented and can describe their situation scores a five, the highest score possible on this parameter. Someone who can answer questions, but whose response is confused receives are four. A person receives a three for responding inappropriately, but making individual words comprehensible. A person scores a two for incomprehensible speech and a one is given for no verbal response at all.
- Motor response is determined by how well someone obeys a command, how they respond to pain, and how well the reflexes respond.
Treatment and Complications
Treatment as soon as possible is critical to the person’s recovery. The first hour, often called the golden hour, is when emergency treatment should be started. If someone’s injuries are medium to severe, they first are treated in the intensive care unit and are then moved to the hospital’s neurosurgical ward.
The extent of the person’s injury determines the type of treatment. Care can range from stabilizing the patient in cases of mild injuries to medication, surgery and rehabilitation in cases where serious damage to the brain occurred.
Complications from serious brain injuries can permanently impact a person’s quality of life. Whether the damage is to one’s thinking, emotional well-being, or physical health, traumatic brain injuries can affect every aspect of a person’s life.
Contact a San Diego Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another’s negligence, it is essential to have the best legal representation possible. At The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C., our San Diego personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping people and families affected by traumatic brain injuries.
We recognize the devastating effects these injuries can have on a person and an entire family and fight aggressively, yet with compassion for the injured, to ensure maximum financial recoveries. A financial recovery cannot reverse the damage that has been done, but it can help ensure the highest quality of life for the patient and his/her family as they learn to adapt to the physical and emotional challenges ahead.
To schedule a free case review with a San Diego brain injury lawyer, please contact us today.