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What Are the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Posted in Personal Injury on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

The National Institute of Health acknowledges various causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), namely, falls, car collisions, sports injuries, and physical assaults. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that almost half of all TBIs stem from falls, though vehicle- and violence-related head injuries are also frequently documented causes.

There are two types of TBI that can create both acute and chronic medical issues. The characteristics of each type lend themselves to different causes, though there is some crossover. Our brain damage attorneys understand the causes and could factor it into a claim for compensation.

Penetrating and Blunt TBIs and Their Causes

A penetrating TBI occurs when the brain is damaged by a sharp object piercing the tissue through the skull. Examples of penetrating TBI include brain damage resulting from gunshot or stab wounds to the head.

The other type is blunt TBI, which emanates from a blow to the head. In Blunt TBIs, the skull is not pierced; rather, the brain bounces around the skull after sustaining a hard, external hit. These blunt-force traumas can happen in situations like car accidents or falls down stairwells.

Sometimes, penetrating and blunt TBIs manifest with immediate symptoms (e.g., disordered sleep, amnesia, emotional dysregulation). TBIs can also have lasting and delayed repercussions on brain function. In severe cases, TBI can culminate in a comatose state and even death.

The Statute of Limitations for Brain Injuries

Per 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(7), personal injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. The clock begins ticking on the statute of limitations as soon as the incident causing the injury transpires. This relatively small window during which individuals suffering from TBIs can recover damages engenders obstacles due to the nature of TBIs.

Penetrating and blunt TBIs can present primary and secondary effects. The statute of limitations is especially problematic with regard to secondary effects. For instance, if someone hits their head on the dashboard during a car accident, they may have the primary effect of a contusion on the brain tissue, but over time, that bruise may continue to bleed, leading to increased swelling that can precipitate brain cell death.

If someone with a TBI does not realize the severity of their injury or forgoes medical treatment (because of cost or lack of access), they may not be aware of the origin of radiating harm. By the time they detect trouble–perhaps in recognizing gradual but dramatic changes in personality or behavior–the statute of limitations may have already terminated. This conundrum can leave a seriously injured person without legal remedy.

Seek Advice from an Attorney Immediately After a Suspected TBI

TBIs are serious conditions that require expeditious medical care when they are first felt and often, continuing care as secondary effects emerge.

An attorney with knowledge of Pennsylvania’s brief statute of limitations for personal injury claims could aid you in bringing a TBI-related claim to court before it is too late. Call now to learn more.