Can A Brain Injury Occur Without a Loss of Consciousness?


Many Pennsylvanians think that a traumatic brain injury always involves a loss of consciousness. However, evidence shows that people can sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI) without losing consciousness. Mild or moderate brain injuries that do not involve unconsciousness can still result in lasting symptoms that can impact the lives of people who suffer from them. Here is some information about traumatic brain injuries and the types of symptoms they can cause from a Philadelphia brain injury attorney at Raynes & Lawn.


Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are injuries to the brain that disrupt normal functioning. They can happen when you suffer a blow, penetrating injury, bump, or jolt to your head and are common injuries in motor vehicle accidents, contact sports, slip and fall accidents, assaults, and medical malpractice.

The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 223,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. in 2018 for TBIs. In 2019, an estimated 166 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to TBIs each day. These statistics do not include people who were seen in the emergency department or that went untreated. In the past, doctors measured the severity of a traumatic brain injury and loss of consciousness by using a tool called the Glasgow coma score. They would make determinations about whether a TBI occurred based on the length of unconsciousness and the score. However, medical science has advanced, and doctors now understand that TBIs can occur without unconsciousness.


Causes Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The most common cause of a traumatic brain injury is a direct blow to the head, which causes the brain to strike the bones of the skull. Traumatic brain injuries are more common in elderly adults, and men are twice as likely to suffer them as women. People can also suffer TBIs from excessively high fevers and medical errors. Another common type of TBI is called a coup-contrecoup brain injury. A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when your brain sloshes around in your head following a violent jolt, striking both bones of your skull on either side. This can result in two brain injuries that can cause your brain to suffer damage to the neurons, which can interfere with your brain’s ability to respond to outside stimuli. For example, if you were in a T-bone accident, you might have been violently thrown to the side, striking your head on the window. As the force of your accident subsided, your body might have been violently thrown in the opposite direction, causing your brain to strike the bones of your skull on both sides.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes us traumatic brain injuries include the following:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Violence
  • Sports injuries
  • Explosions/combat injuries
  • Struck-by accidents

TBIs in falls can happen when people fall on the same level, off of a ladder, down a flight of stairs, or from one level to another. These types of accidents can occur in the home, in public, or on construction sites. Older adults and children are especially vulnerable to suffering TBIs in fall accidents.

Violence and assaults also cause many TBIs each year in the U.S. This can include being struck in the head by an object, fist, or suffering a penetrating head wound from a knife or gunshot.

TBIs in motor vehicle collisions are fairly common types of accident-related injuries. These types of accident-related TBIs are caused by the sudden forces released in the collision and include pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, car, and truck accidents.

People can suffer TBIs when they are accidentally struck by objects. These types of injuries commonly happen when people are working, including on construction sites when others drop tools or debris from higher levels onto people working below.

Many soldiers who have served in combat have suffered traumatic brain injuries caused by explosive blasts. Some of these soldiers subsequently suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder and long-term effects.


Symptoms Of A Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

It can be difficult to identify a mild traumatic brain injury. While MRIs and CT scans can be helpful to doctors to identify moderate to severe TBIs, physicians might sometimes miss mild TBIs. Doctors typically diagnose mild traumatic brain injuries by evaluating the symptoms a patient reports. This makes it important for you to pay attention to your symptoms and describe all of them to your doctor.

Some of the types of symptoms that might indicate a mild TBI include the following:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Visual disturbances/blurred vision
  • Poor concentration or attention
  • Memory loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Slowed cognitive ability
  • Seizures

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should promptly see your doctor.


Are There Any Long-Term Effects Of A Mild Concussion?

While mild concussions are called mild, they can cause lasting symptoms. Some people might experience symptoms for as long as 10 years following a mild TBI. Some people might also suffer ongoing motor skills issues, emotional problems, and cognitive impairments for the rest of their lives. Even after a single TBI, you might have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease later in your life.


Damages In An Accident Resulting In A Brain Injury

Compensatory damages are monetary amounts that are meant to compensate you for your economic and noneconomic losses and can include the following:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future income losses
  • Property losses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Reduction in your quality of life
  • Others

Your attorney can review your case and help you understand the types of damages you might be entitled to receive.


Contact Raynes & Lawn

Even if you did not lose consciousness, a mild traumatic brain injury can negatively impact your life and cause ongoing symptoms. If you sustained a mild TBI in a negligence accident, you should speak to a Philadelphia brain injury attorney at Raynes & Lawn by calling 1-800-535-1797. We offer free consultations and can help you understand your rights.



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