Difference Between ABI and TBI Brain Injuries
Each year, approximately three million individuals experience injuries from motor vehicle accidents. One of the more severe injuries is a TBI, and TBI and ABI often become intertwined when you start diving into different types of brain injuries.
Yet, the two are more similar than you may think, and you could likely have a strong case with an attorney if you experienced any brain injury from negligence. Brain injuries can cost thousands, if not millions, over months to years. Even if you could walk away from the accident, brain injury symptoms could arise hours to days later.
Don’t wait to seek help. Keep reading our complete guide, where we break down the differences between a TBI and an ABI and how you can find a qualified Houston attorney today.
What Is a TBI?
TBI is an acronym for traumatic brain injury. It is an event or trauma that causes damage to parts of your brain. The keyword is “traumatic,” which usually entails accidents or injuries like:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Sports injuries
- Physical attacks
A brain injury can range from mild to severe. Some medical experts may consider a mild concussion as a mild traumatic brain injury. As you can imagine, symptoms may also vary in severity and display, ranging from physical to mental side effects. Some of the more common TBI symptoms include:
- Balance impairments
- Light aversion
- Loss of consciousness
- Vision changes
- Loss of sensation or motor control
When a TBI occurs, there aren’t necessarily any signs or symptoms involved. More traumatic injuries may be coupled with bleeding and bruising.
Severe TBIs can result in comas or medical sedation that can last weeks to months. Minor TBIs may resolve after a few hours or days. TBI symptoms can also start displaying later on, especially in the case of a subdural hematoma.
Any changes in neurological function should require immediate medical attention following a head injury. Medical professionals will use neurological assessments and advanced technology to locate the damaged area.
Long-Term TBI Effects
There are risks for long-term damage when dealing with moderate to severe types of brain injuries. You can have physical or mental impairments that require life-long medication or treatment. In extreme instances, TBIs can cause death or 24/7 supervision from a caregiver.
Nearly 20% of TBIs are related to sports injuries. Approximately half of these occur during childhood or adolescence.
TBIs during childhood can stunt development and growth. In return, these effects can negatively affect:
- Thought processes
In older adults, falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs. Older adults are more at risk because other health conditions mask TBI symptoms. Additionally, medication can worsen the effects of TBIs.
Warfarin is a common anticoagulant that can cause excessive bleeding even from minor injuries. It is even more important that family, friends, and health providers screen for symptoms of a TBI after a fall or accident.
Cost of TBIs
The cost falls under two primary categories: medical expenses and quality of life. Let’s tackle medical expenses first. Following an accident or injury, TBIs can result in several medical expenses, including:
- Hospitalization (e.g., ventilator assistance, surgeries, neuro consultation)
- Rehabilitation (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy)
- Adaptive equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs)
This is not a comprehensive list, and there are several other components of medical expenses, including ongoing care and appointments. Over just a few months, these expenses can add up to thousands of dollars. Compound them with a lifelong disability, and the medical costs are enormous.
The CDC estimates that the lifelong economic costs of a moderate to severe TBI are $76.5 billion. Additionally, around 30% of individuals with a medium to severe TBI worsened after five years, contributing to higher expenses.
Quality of life factors into the estimates noted above. It can span much further, though, as you consider losing work, hobbies, and independence.
Some people need lifelong support and care for simple things such as getting in and out of bed or brushing their teeth. It is hard to put a price tag on managing a severe TBI’s mental and emotional journey.
What Is an ABI?
An ABI is otherwise known as an acquired brain injury. TBIs are a type of ABI, but other types of brain injuries fall under this category, such as:
- Oxygen deprivation
An acquired brain injury is not congenital or degenerative, meaning other medical conditions like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s do not fall under this category. You can think of an ABI as any brain injury occurring after birth; other examples are drug or alcohol abuse.
Opioid use increases your risk of brain hypoxia, strokes, and aneurysms. Drug overdoses reduce breathing rates and oxygen consumption.
This physiological effect can suppress your cardiorespiratory system, leading to death. However, there are several instances where non-fatal drug overdoses result in long-term brain damage from insufficient oxygen supply. Infections like meningitis or encephalitis can also result in long-term health consequences.
Like TBIs, ABIs will present with similar symptoms based on severity. You may also notice specific symptoms related to the brain area that received the most damage.
In some cases, it could encompass several regions. There are five primary brain structures, including:
- Frontal lobe
- Temporal lobe
- Parietal lobe
- Occipital lobe
- Brain stem
The frontal lobe includes your personality traits, emotions, and judgment. Damage to this area may result in more profound emotional changes, including impulsivity, aggression, or impaired concentration. Your temporal lobe helps with memory, understanding, and hearing.
The parietal lobe impacts your sensory input, and damage to this region often affects hearing, taste, or touch. The occipital lobe processes visual information, and severe injury could result in permanent vision loss.
Lastly, the brain stem is responsible for several autonomic functions, and these include things such as breathing and heart rate. Brain stem injuries are often more life-threatening and severe than other parts.
Should You See an Attorney for Your TBI?
If your TBI was assumed from the negligence of another party, you might have a case for a TBI attorney. A lawyer for brain injury cases specializes in compensation and fair settlements for these personal injury cases.
These tears can impact bodily functions and your ability to return to work. With increased swelling, you are also at risk for more damage. Neurologists and neurosurgeons may warn of the dangers of increasing intracranial pressure and suggest a craniectomy.
During this procedure, a portion of the skull is removed to accommodate the swelling. These procedures might not happen immediately but are extremely costly and impact your day-to-day routine. It would help if you worked with a medical professional and qualified TBI attorney from the beginning.
Medical evaluations provide evidence that supports your case, including:
- Ability to work
- Type of medical care or rehabilitation needed
- Ability to live independently
Is a Houston TBI Attorney Worth the Cost?
Qualified attorneys help prove that a person or entity was negligent. For example, a distracted or drunk driver was not exercising reasonable care to protect those around them, resulting in an accident and injury.
Product liability could be defective products that caused an accident. When searching for an attorney, it is worth the legal fees if they have vast experience working with TBI cases and can provide specialized attention to your case. They can bridge the gap between you, other attorneys, and insurance providers.
At Morgan Legal Group, we also strive to help you receive fair compensation before charging you legal fees. Unless you win, there are no fees involved.
Receiving Fair Compensation for Your Injury
An ABI includes any brain injury (such as a TBI) acquired after birth, excluding degenerative causes. Falls, work accidents, and car accidents can all qualify. If you or a loved one has experienced a head injury from negligence, you may benefit from a qualified Houston attorney at Morgan Legal Group.
We specialize in personal injury cases involving TBIs, ensuring you receive adequate compensation for your medical expenses and loss of work. The best part is that we don’t get paid unless you do.
Are you ready to get started? Contact us today for a free consultation!