Every Case Is Different
TBI occurs when the brain is exposed to some kind of hard impact. In most cases, this is normally the brain actually making physical contact with the skull itself. The brain, while compact and largely occupying the skull cavity, is not actually “fixed” in place, the way someone might screw in a television to a wall mounting to make sure it is both snug and securely attached to that wall with no movement possible. The brain is “loose” in that regard. It is, in an average adult, a three pound organ that is mostly held in place due to the thickness of the spinal cord, but there are no “brackets” or “screws” that prevent movement.
This means that when a person undergoes a sudden movement, such as a hard tackle in a football game, or the sudden stop that comes from a collision in a car accident, the brain has no protection against forward momentum. In other words, once the seat belt or air bag, for example, in a car accident, stops the forward motion of the body, the brain will continue to travel a very short distance, until it is physically stopped from moving forward by colliding with the interior of the skull. In other cases, such as a strong blow to the head, the force of the impact may be so powerful that the skull is broken and the fragile brain underneath absorbs the force of the blow.
Because the brain controls so many different aspects of normal human function, injuries to different parts may cause different effects further down the road. This means that one person with TBI may suffer in the future from an inability to remember things, because the capacity to efficiently store new memories has been damaged. On the other hand, someone with TBI that received damage to the portion of the brain that controls the ability to experience tactile sensations may now suffer with a permanent reduced—or even nonexistent—ability to feel his or her fingers and toes. Some people may even suffer from uncontrollable emotional impulses, such as sudden bouts of anger, or fear or sadness with no discernible cause.
TBI is a very complex medical condition, and can affect a person’s life in many unexpected ways. If you sustain TBI as a result of someone else’s negligence, or believe that your head injury may have resulted in TBI, talk to an accident lawyer experienced in TBI, and make sure you get the medical and legal help you deserve.