What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A collision between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle may lead to many different injuries, especially for the driver and any passengers in the car that was involved in the accident. Many times, a victim will suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which the Mayo Clinic defines as brain dysfunction resulting from an external mechanical force. The damage may be temporary and moderate, where damaged brain cells are repaired over time. However, severe impact forces will lead to cell and tissue damage, bleeding in the brain, and changes in the neurochemistry of the brain. This type of damage is long-term or permanent and likely will result in cognitive impairment and physical disabilities.

There are many different causes of TBI, including a simple bump on the head. The leading cause of the estimated 1.7 million TBIs that happen in the United States each year is falling, which accounts for approximately one-third of the injuries. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause, at around seventeen percent. These statistics are compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Car and truck crashes were the leading cause of deaths as the result of a TBI, with thirty-one percent of the fatalities.

A traumatic brain injury can result from a penetrating injury, where a foreign object impacts the head and passes into the brain itself, such as a bullet or a piece of metal driven into the head during a car accident. A TBI also may develop after a closed head injury where there is an impact to the head that does not lead to a penetrating wound. A driver who is hit by a tractor-trailer may have his head slammed into the dashboard or steering wheel, leading to a closed head TBI.

When the impact first occurs, there may be bruises, lacerations, damage to the skull itself, blood clots, and nerve damage. Other physical trauma may continue to develop over time, including:

  • Swelling in the brain;
  • The build-up of intracranial pressure;
  • Extreme blood pressure fluctuations;
  • Anemia;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Carbon dioxide build-up;
  • Cardiac irregularities; and
  • Changes in mood and behavior.

A person who has suffered from a TBI may suffer from a number of debilitating medical conditions, including seizures, dizziness, severe headaches, diminishment in strength and stamina, loss of coordination, hearing and vision problems, speech impairment, cognitive impairment, and changes in personality and emotional wellbeing.

Although physical therapy and rehabilitation may help to minimize some of the consequences of this type of injury, a person who suffers from a severe TBI likely will require additional assistance and accommodations for the remainder of his or her life.

Most of us will experience a car accident in our lifetime. However, for those who have suffered through the trauma of an accident involving a tractor-trailer, life never will be the same. The injuries that result from this type of collision are often debilitating. Years of intensive medical treatment, multiple surgeries, therapy, rehabilitation, and the need for mechanical assistance are a reminder of the devastation of the crash. The dedicated Memphis truck accident attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC understand the struggle that you face on a daily basis. We want to work with you to recover compensation that will pay all of your past and future medical expenses, as well as cover lost wages and future earnings. We also will fight to get you damages for the pain and suffering that will last a lifetime. We are available to discuss the terrible accident that led to the harm you suffered during a free and confidential consultation. To schedule this meeting at your convenience, call us at (888) 470-9143.