From a young age, you likely learned about the importance of protecting your head. Whether you played a contact sport or rode your bicycle, your parents and coaches undoubtedly told you to wear a helmet. Of course, some situations do not require helmets or other protective headgear, but you could still suffer serious injuries in the event of an accident.
For instance, you likely do not wear a helmet while driving or riding inside a car. However, you may still have suffered a blow to the head when another vehicle crashed into the one you were occupying. This type of outcome commonly happens in car crashes, and you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result.
Types of TBI
The term "traumatic brain injury" could refer to several different types of injuries, though all impact the brain and can lead to lasting damage. You may have heard of individuals suffering concussions fairly often and may not consider them a big deal, but this injury does fall into the category of a TBI. Other types of TBI include contusions, coup-contrecoup, diffuse axonal and penetrating injuries.
Levels of TBI
Even if your doctor informs you that you have a TBI, it is important to understand the severity of the injury itself. The levels of injury could range from mild TBI to severe, and the amount of damage caused by the injury increases with each level.
If you suffered a mild TBI, you either did not lose consciousness or only lost consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. However, the injury is still considered a TBI if you felt dazed or confused after hurting your head, as this points to a change in your mental status that you should take seriously.
If you suffered a moderate TBI, you were likely unconscious for a few minutes up to a few hours and had lasting confusion as a result. This level of TBI could also cause various physical and cognitive issues that could prove long lasting or even permanent.
If a severe TBI is involved, you were likely in a life-threatening state or may have lost a loved one to the injury. Due to the tearing and crushing of brain tissue that these injuries can cause, doctors can have a difficult time treating these injuries, and victims can face tremendous hurdles when it comes to recovery. Often, individuals with this type of head injury either succumb to the injury or have permanent damage as a result.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident, you may have reason to pursue a legal claim against the driver considered at fault. Filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim as applicable could help you seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages permitted under Hawaii state law.