As a Tampa traumatic brain injury attorney, I am often retained to represent individuals who have sustained significant closed head trauma. A traumatic brain injury can best be defined as an injury to the brain caused by trauma to the head.
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head that causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull. Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications including neurological deficit or death.
Sadly, TBI is very common, occurring in 1.7 million people annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition ranges in severity from mild concussions with no long-term consequence to severe brain damage leading to coma and/or death.
Traumatic Brain Injury is the Focus of a Recent Film
Hollywood is entering the national discussion about TBI with “The Vow” a movie inspired by real events that tells how a tragic case of TBI nearly destroyed the love between a married couple. In the film, a recently married young couple is in a catastrophic car accident that leaves the wife with serious brain damage. She has completely forgotten the past five years of her life. Since she met her husband more recently than that, he is now a complete stranger to her. He remains devoted, but she is confused: How could she have agreed to share her life, and her bed, with someone she has no memory of ever meeting? Still, the husband is determined to get his wife back, and they try to date again in hopes of reigniting the fire of love.
Classic example of Hollywood’s unbelievable take on life, right? Never could have happened… except that it did. In fact, many basic facts of the movie are based on the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. This film highlights a key point about medicine; the human brain and body are stranger than fiction. If you can imagine it, it’s probably happened, and a lot of things you’d never imagine have happened, too.
In fact, memory loss is quite common following a traumatic brain injury. It typically takes one of two forms.
Anterograde memory loss is the more common of the two. This type of memory loss is characterized by an inability to form new memories for a period of time after the injury.
Retrograde memory loss is less common. When this occurs, a patient becomes unable to access memories for things that have occurred prior to the head trauma. Usually this period of “lost time” is brief. But in unusual cases people can lose a year or more of memories, which accounts for the Carpenters’ story.
Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) varies based on the individual and the brain injury. Attempts at predicting the degree of TBI recovery remain basic. Recovery can be seen months, and even years, after the initial injury. Devastating and fatal injuries can be easier to discover than other injuries.
These are the indicators the medical team uses for prognosis:
- Duration of Coma. The shorter the coma, the better the prognosis.
- Post-traumatic amnesia. The shorter the amnesia, the better the prognosis.
- Age. Patients over 60 or under age 2 have the worst prognosis, even if they suffer the same injury as someone not in those age groups.
Recovery of brain function is thought to occur by several mechanisms. Some common theories:
- Diaschisis. Depressed areas of the brain that are not injured but linked to injured areas begin functioning again.
- The function is taken over by a part of the brain that does not usually perform that task.
- Redundancy in the function performed so another area of the brain takes over.
- Behavioral substitution. The individual learns new strategies to compensate for deficits.
A traumatic brain injury can have a pronounced effect on your quality of life including the ability to interact with loved ones and friends as well as the ability to work. Please contact a Florida traumatic brain injury lawyer for a free, no obligation, and confidential evaluation of your case. As a Clearwater personal injury attorney, I consistently deal with insurance adjusters, Florida insurance defense lawyers and even physicians who are unfamiliar with the mechanisms behind a TBI and the relationship between a closed head injury and whiplash. Many practitioners are mistakenly under the assumption that the head must strike an object with force in order to sustain a closed head injury. It is essential to retain an attorney who is not only familiar with TBI’s but also the latest science in this rapidly evolving area of medicine.
Pinellas County Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a Pinellas County and Manatee County personal injury law firm that routinely handles claims and litigates cases involving closed head injuries as a result of an automobile accident. We actively litigate auto accident and motorcycle accident related cases in Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Sarasota County, Manatee County and Pasco County. Located in central Pinellas County (Clearwater), Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is easily accessible to injury victims in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, New Port Richey, Pinellas Park, Largo and Kenneth City. Our satellite office in Bradenton is easily accessible to all consumers located in both Manatee and Sarasota County.
For more information on the relationship between a brain injury and an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, please contact: [email protected] or call Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at: (727) 451-6900. Matthew A. Dolman, Esq., and Bryan C. Hannan, Esq., are experienced and aggressive Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys who are often called upon by their colleagues to co-counsel head injury cases throughout the State of Florida.