What’s the Difference Between an ABI and a TBI?

by | Apr 7, 2022 | Injuries

These two brain injuries have roughly the same effects. But they have different causes. Blunt force trauma often causes a Traumatic Brain Injury. Objects that penetrate the skull could also cause a TBI. So could sudden and violent movement that causes the brain to slam against the skull. Certain medical conditions usually cause Acquired Brain Injuries.

These two injuries often also develop slowly over time. The force of a TBI occurs suddenly. But the brain conceals its own injuries, and adrenaline often masks trauma injury pain. Therefore, many of these victims don’t “feel” hurt, at least right away. Somewhat similarly, an ABI might not seem bad at first. In fact, the effects might be hardly noticeable. But that changes over time.

Additionally, all brain injuries are permanent. That means a lifetime of high medical bills and lost economic opportunities, not to mention long term pain and suffering. A Lexington personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for all these losses in court. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in many extreme cases.

Trauma Injuries and Brain Injuries

Vehicle collisions, falls, and assaults cause most TBIs in Kentucky. These injuries don’t just happen accidentally. All three of these incidents usually involve someone else’s negligence. 

Generally, motorists have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid driving errors, like deliberately or recklessly speeding, changing lanes unsafely, or running a red light. These errors, along with driving impairment errors, like driving while fatigued, cause more than 90 percent of the car wrecks in Kentucky.

If little Jimmy broke his neighbor’s window with a baseball, even though he didn’t intend to smash it, he had to pay for it. If grown-up Jimmy caused a car wreck, even though he didn’t intend for that to happen, he had to pay for it.

Property owners have a similar responsibility, at least in most cases. They must promptly take care of fall hazards, like wet spots on floors, and security gaps, like burned-out lights. A lapse in either area means liability for damages.

Foreseeability (possibility) is sometimes complex in third-party assault claims. A Lexington personal injury attorney must prove the owner knew, or should have known, about the possibility of an assault. Evidence on this point includes the area’s reputation as a high crime area and prior similar incidents in the neighborhood.

Medical negligence could cause a brain injury as well, especially during birth. A tiny newborn doesn’t weigh much more than a two-liter bottle of soda. So, the same amount of force it takes to unscrew a lid is the same amount of force it takes to cause a permanent head injury. These injuries often involve dangerous mechanical birth aids, like forceps and vacuum extractors.

Medical Conditions and Brain Injuries

Doctors have a very high duty of care. So, there’s typically no such thing as a medical accident. Instead, pretty much every error, like excessive force during a delivery, is medical negligence.

Misdiagnosis is much more common than birth injuries. Misdiagnosis is often linked to ABIs. Some examples include:

  • Strokes: A stroke disrupts the flow of oxygen to the brain. Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) is one of the most common ABI causes. Since the symptoms are often similar, many physicians misdiagnose strokes as seizures or migraine headaches. The treatments for these conditions do nothing to help stroke victims.
  • Brain Cancer: Unless the patient has some lifestyle or genetic red flags, doctors almost never diagnose cancer. They often don’t even run the appropriate diagnostic tests. As a result, the brain cancer, and the ABI it causes, become more severe and more difficult to treat.
  • Vertigo: This inner ear condition affects balance and coordination, much like a stroke. If someone under 65 has such symptoms, doctors usually diagnose vertigo as opposed to stroke. As far as many physicians are concerned, strokes are exclusively an age-related condition.

Doctors have a very high standard of care. So, it’s easier to prove negligence, or a lack of care, in these situations. For the same reason, it’s also often easier to obtain punitive damages in medical negligence cases.

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. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.