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What are the causes and effects of traumatic brain injury?

There are different types of injuries that can affect the brain; the type that results from something like a car accident or a fall is known as a traumatic brain injury, or "TBI." As the name suggests, this usually results from a blow to the head. A TBI may be “open” (a severe injury which can result in a fractured or even a penetrated skull) or "closed" (such as a concussion in which the brain impacts against the inside of the skull).

Depending on the severity of the impact to the head, as well as other factors including but not limited to the age of the victim, TBI symptoms can manifest themselves in different ways. Common signs include persistent headaches, neck aches, or both; dizziness, including a feeling of being "light-headed;" nausea and vomiting; difficulty keeping mentally focused; trouble remembering things; easily becoming confused; problems with speaking or reading; blurred vision; ringing in the ears; lessened senses of taste and smell; mood changes and disruption of sleep habits.

These symptoms clearly suggest that incidents of TBI can have a significant, negative impact on the quality of life of the person suffering the injury. Specialized and prolonged medical treatment may be necessary, including surgery and long-term care. Secondary effects can include difficulty maintaining employment, and adversely affected relations with family members.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1.5 million Americans, including California residents, incur a TBI annually, and more than three million suffer permanent disabilities arising from these injuries.

The consequences of a TBI frequently have a financial as well as a physical effect on the victim as well as his or her family. If the injury is at least partially attributable to the negligent, reckless or intentional act of another, then an attorney experienced with California personal injury law can provide assistance in recovering in the form of money damages at least some of the costs connected to the injury and its aftermath.

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