What is a diffuse axonal injury? It is a type of traumatic brain injury that involves the tearing of the brain’s connective nerve fibers that happens when the brain shifts and rotates in the skull. 

After a diffuse axonal injury, you may have questions like:

  • What are the symptoms of a diffuse axonal brain injury?
  • Will I recover from a diffuse axonal brain injury?
  • How much will a diffuse axonal brain injury cost me?
what is a diffuse axonal injury

Our team at GJEL Accident Attorneys can answer your questions and guide you through your options for filing a lawsuit. We dedicate time and attention to each of our clients to ensure you receive the highest quality of legal representation. If you or a loved one suffered a diffuse axonal injury, you should discuss your case with a personal injury attorney immediately. Contact GJEL today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team. 

What Is a Diffuse Axonal Injury?

A diffuse axonal injury is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when a blunt force impacts the brain. According to a 2023 study on diffuse axonal injuries, high-speed car accidents cause the most DAIs. However, approximately 10% of all patients hospitalized with a TBI have some degree of DAI. Another tragic cause of DAI is shaken-baby syndrome.

A DAI happens when the long connecting nerve fibers of the brain, called axons, tear as the brain shifts and collides with the skull. The tears disrupt the brain’s communication and chemical responses to other parts of the body. The extent of a DAI often depends on the number of nerves affected and their function. 

After a DAI, lesions develop in the white matter of the brain in areas of the brain stem, the corpus callosum, and the cerebral hemispheres.

What Is the Prognosis After Diffuse Axonal Injury?

Approximately 25% of DAI injuries result in death. Additionally, DAI often results in the injured person falling into a coma. Only a small percentage of people with a severe DAI will regain consciousness within the first year after their injury.

Diffuse Axonal Injury Symptoms

There is no single test used to diagnose a DAI. A DAI is hard to detect on CT scans and MRIs, but certain symptoms visible on MRIs can indicate the presence of a DAI, such as small bleeds in the cerebral cortex or corpus callosum. Victims of a DAI typically lose consciousness at the time of their injury. Other symptoms of DAI may include:

  • Dizziness,
  • Vomiting,
  • Confusion,
  • Sleeping issues,
  • Fatigue,
  • Severe headache, or
  • Nausea.

The symptoms of DAI often last at least six hours. Diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) is the most effective tool for detecting a DAI. Additionally, a DAI diagnosis is likely when a patient fails to improve after receiving surgical evacuation of subdural or epidural hematomas. 

Diffuse Axonal Injury Recovery Time

There is no specific treatment for diffuse axonal brain injuries. The immediate goal of physicians is to reduce any swelling inside the brain. Once the swelling is addressed, recovery focuses on rehabilitating any skills affected by the injury. This may include:

  • Physical therapy,
  • Recreational therapy,
  • Occupational therapy,
  • Counseling, and
  • Speech therapy.

If someone loses consciousness due to their DAI, the recovery process will not start until they wake up. In cases with a very mild DAI, a full recovery may be possible. But even if you make a full recovery, the medical expenses and other costs you incur during the recovery process can set your family back millions of dollars.

Can I Recover Losses from a Diffuse Axonal Injury? 

Like any other injury, when another person’s negligent or wrongful act causes your brain injury, you can file a personal injury claim to recover your losses. Personal injury settlements include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate you for quantifiable monetary losses like medical costs or lost wages. Potential damages available after a brain injury include:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Rehabilitation costs,
  • Lost wages, and
  • Loss of future earning capacity.

Bills, receipts, pay stubs, and other financial documents can help our team of GJEL attorneys calculate the value of your DAI claim.

Non-economic damages are more subjective. They are typically harms like the emotional toll inflicted by your injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of quality of life, and
  • Psychological trauma.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the annual economic cost of TBIs in the United States was approximately $76.5 billion. Brain injuries require immediate medical care and ongoing care throughout the recovery process. We know these costs can add up quickly, especially if you cannot work due to your injury. A qualified personal injury attorney will negotiate with the opposing insurance party on your behalf to secure a settlement offer that fully compensates you for your losses. 

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Diffuse Axonal Injury Lawsuit?

A severe brain injury can turn your life upside down. A lawyer at GJEL can stand by your side every step of the way and make sure you receive compensation for your losses. Our firm specializes in helping victims injured due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful act. We pride ourselves on representing our clients aggressively and effectively. Since GJEL’s founding in 1971, we have recovered over $950,000,000 on behalf of our injured clients. 

If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to make a settlement offer that adequately covers your damages, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial. We know the tactics insurance companies use to bully victims into low-value settlements. Your attorney will negotiate with insurance representatives on your behalf and fight to secure an offer that will reimburse you for your losses. 

If you or a loved one suffered a diffuse axonal brain injury, reach out to GJEL immediately. Our personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations where you can lay out the facts of your case. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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