Classifying Traumatic Brain Injuries
Suffering trauma to the brain can have a wide range of consequences for injury victims. This type of physical injury is typically known as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In cases of relatively mild TBI, patients may suffer nothing more than temporary symptoms lasting no more than a few days. Serious cases of TBI, however, can cause permanent or even life-threatening damage.
In light of the range of outcomes that TBI can have for injury victims, a number of classification systems have been devised to help classify TBI in terms of severity. The following is a brief explanation of some of these classification systems to help individuals who have suffered TBI and their families to understand how badly they may have been injured and what types of consequences may be expected as a result of the injury:
- Loss of consciousness – one of the simplest classification systems for TBI, this system classifies TBI based on the length of time in which injury victims were unconscious. For any time less than 30 minutes, the injury is considered mild. Loss of consciousness lasting between 30 minutes and 24 hours is considered indicative of a moderate TBI, while anything longer than 24 hours is usually considered a sign of severe TBI.
- Post-traumatic Amnesia – another method for classifying TBI involves examining the extent to which TBI victims suffer amnesia. Post-traumatic amnesia lasting less than one day can generally be considered to be a sign of mild TBI. Amnesia lasting anywhere between one and seven days is considered a sign of moderate TBI, and anything longer than 7 days is indicative of severe TBI.
- Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) – the most comprehensive system for classifying TBI is the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale combines verbal, motor, and optical responses to simple tests performed by medical professionals to determine the extent to which TBI may have occurred. The GCS assigns scores ranging from 3 to 15 for TBI victims, with 15 being the least damaging and 3 representing the most serious level of damage.
The best method for determining TBI is generally considered to be a combination of all three of these different methods.
Depending on the nature of the injury you have suffered, TBI can have extremely serious consequences for injury victims and their families. Unfortunately, in many cases, those who have been the victims of TBI cannot afford to pay for the costs that their injury may have. Therefore, it may be necessary for victims to take legal action in order to pursue compensation for these costs from those responsible for causing their injuries. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our attorneys are committed to providing traumatic brain injury victims with the representation they need to effectively fight for justice. Contact us by calling (212) 779-0057 today to learn more about what we may be able to do for you.