What’s the Difference Between a TBI and an ABI, and Why Does It Matter?

by | Oct 27, 2021 | Car Accidents, Injuries

In many ways, the difference does not matter. The effects are very much the same. These two types of injuries. Hurt is hurt. Furthermore, both  Acquired Brain Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries, are very difficult to diagnose. That’s mostly because many victims do not exhibit signature symptoms, such as unconsciousness and vomiting. Therefore, many of these victims do not immediately get the medical help they need.

For many victims, these diagnosis problems are just the beginning. These injuries are also rather difficult to treat. That’s especially true regarding physical therapy, which is usually the lynchpin of a treatment regimen. Brain injury physical therapy progress comes in fits and starts. Additionally, some patients only respond to some forms of therapy. So, there is a lot of trial and error.

A Lexington personal injury attorney helps in both these areas. Lawyers connect victims with doctors who specialize in brain injuries. These professionals know how to spot these problems and they know how to respond appropriately. Then, during the physical therapy process, attorneys continue to advocate for victims, so the money keeps flowing. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, attorneys hold responsible parties accountable for their actions or inactions. These court actions highlight the differences between ABIs and TBIs.

TBI Causes

To understand the causes of a TBI, a brief physiology lesson is a good idea. But don’t worry. We aren’t making anyone take a test.

Most people assume the brain fits snugly inside the skull, much like a hand in a glove. Actually, the skull is more like a water tank full of cerebrospinal fluid. This liquid suspends the brain in the middle of the skull. That structure helps explain the three major causes of TBIs, which are:

  • Trauma: This one is pretty straightforward. However, it’s worth mentioning that once brain cells die, they never regenerate. So, TBIs are always permanent. The best thing doctors can do is treat the symptoms and prevent these injuries from getting worse.
  • Motion: Because of the aforementioned structure, when people fall and land hard, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls. So, although their brain injuries are just as bad, they frequently have no visible injuries.
  • Noise: Sudden loud noises, like explosive blasts, trigger shock waves that disrupt brain functions. So, in addition to the no visible injury problem, these brain injury victims might not have even been knocked down.

Motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of TBIs, because they combine all three possible causes. Victims often hit their heads on solid objects, and the motion of a wreck usually causes the neck to snap back and forth or side to side. Furthermore, many witnesses say the noise of a crash sounds like an explosion.

Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are legally responsible for brain injuries and other physical injuries if they were negligent. Basically, negligence is a lack of care.

Other common causes of brain injuries include falls and assaults. Property owners are generally liable for these injuries, if they knew about the fall, negligent security, or other hazard which caused the injury and they owed a legal duty to the victim.

ABI Causes

Numerous chronic medical conditions could cause a brain injury. Unlike TBIs, ABIs occur slowly over time. So, they are even more difficult to diagnose.

Medical misdiagnosis often comes into play in these situations as well. Usually, economics is the root of medical misdiagnosis. Many doctors do not order a full battery of diagnostic tests. They are afraid the insurance company will not pay for them. Therefore, instead of basis their diagnoses on evidence, they base them on professional intuition.

Overall, the medical misdiagnosis rate is about 20 percent. It’s even higher among chronic conditions which could cause an ABI, such as:

  • Cancer: Brain fog, which is usually a side-effect of chemotherapy medication, is a common issue among cancer patients. Frequently, doctors prescribe stronger doses of chemotherapy medication than patients can safely tolerate.
  • Heart Disease: Although they are rather far apart, the brain and heart are among the two most closely connected organs in the body. A diseased heart usually means a diseased brain, and vice versa.
  • Fibromyalgia: This autoimmune disease is easy to misdiagnose as arthritis, because the symptoms are basically the same. However, fibromyalgia also causes a brain fog, like the ABI that chemotherapy drugs often cause.

In both TBI and ABI cases, damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are often available in ABI cases. Doctors have a very high duty of care. Because of this high responsibility, punitive damages are usually necessary to adequately address medical negligence issues.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters. #goodelawyers