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Primary and secondary traumatic brain damage from an accident

Summary by Ohio personal injury lawyer Davd M. Chester founder of Chester Law Group Co., LPA:

Serious car, truck, or motorcycle accidents quite often generate traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is classified as primary and secondary injury. Primary injury occurs right after your accident and secondary comes into play hours, days to months later. If your TBI is severe you will have permanent brain damage and death may ensure. Permanent brain damage will require continued medical care and rehabilitation. You need to consult with an injury lawyer to see if you qualify for a personal injury settlement. The Chester Law Group in Ohio is experienced in vehicle accidents and brain injury cases and can take you through the necessary steps to receive compensation. Call them at 800-218-4243.

Author of this article Susan Ardizzoni Ph.D.:

If you have been in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you might have experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can be mild, serious or possible deadly. The simplest way to classify TBI is primary and secondary forms. Primary TBI happens during the initial accident and results from movement of physical parts of the brain. Secondary TBI occurs gradually and involves a number of cellular and molecular processes. If you have experienced TBI from a serious accident, you need to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Quite often these accidents require long-term rehabilitation that is not covered by your insurance.

Primary TBI's occur immediately after the initial trauma. Damage that can occur to the brain within minutes to an hour or so includes:

  • Contusions – blood vessels that are damaged in the skin leak blood and form a bruise on your face and/or scalp
  • General blood vessel damage inside the brain – stretched, compressed, broken or torn – get inflammation and neuronal cell death
  • Axonal shearing – these are the fibers of neurons that send action potentials – they can be stretched or torn and won't be able to send signals
  • Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB) damage – this allows the immune system to enter the brain attacking brain cells and destroying them
  • Damage to the Meninges – these are membranes that cover the surface of the brain – you get bleeding and inflammation

Secondary TBI's result from processes initiated by the primary or initial trauma. This occurs in the hours, days and months following the initial insult and plays a great role in the actual brain damage and cell death that occurs after the primary TBI. Interestingly, most people don't die of a TBI right away but rather weeks to months later and progressively deteriorate. This is due to secondary injury where damage spreads to initially undamaged areas of the brain. Much of this comes from internal bleeding and increased intracranial pressure.

The major contributing factors to secondary brain injury are listed below:

  • Ischemia – not enough blood flow to the brain due to blood vessel constriction or blockage
  • Hypoxia – not enough oxygen in the brain
  • Hypotension – low blood pressure
  • Edema – swelling, inflammation
  • Increased intracranial pressure – due to inflammation – if this becomes excessive you end up with brain herniation – parts of the brain ooze out of holes in the skull
  • Hypercapnia – too much carbon dioxide in blood
  • Acidosis – blood becomes acidic which indicates a disease state
  • Excitotoxicity – excess release of neurotransmitters that over excite neurons leading to cell death
  • Further breakdown of the Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB) – immune system invades the brain and destroys neurons and other cells.

If you have been seriously hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and experienced a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. These types of accidents often involve long-term medical care and severe pain so you need to consider about compensation for rehabilitation and loss of your ability to earn wages in the future.

The Chester Law Group is an Ohio personal injury law firm experienced in car, truck and motorcycle accidents involving brain and spinal injuries and can guide you through a personal injury settlement. Also, it is important that you consult with an Ohio brain injury attorney before you attend a Defense Medical Exam (DME) and don't ask the defense doctor for advice. Make sure you get copies of all your medical records as they will serve as evidence in your case. Your brain injury law firm will advise you every step of the way. Call the Ohio injury attorneys at Chester Law Group today to get the help you want from people that you can trust at 800-218-4243.

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