Brain injuries are among the most serious consequences of major accidents such as automobile or motorcycle crashes, sports injuries, or industrial or workplace mishaps. The term “brain injury” encompasses a wide variety of conditions, from mild concussions to damaged brain tissue from an object penetrating the skull. Symptoms of brain injuries can include headaches, confusion, nausea and dizziness, memory loss, and even personality changes. Because brain injuries often require long-term rehabilitation, sometimes in a dedicated brain-injury facility, treatment can be very expensive. If you or a loved one suffers from a brain injury caused by another’s carelessness or negligence, you may be able to get financial compensation for your medical costs or pain and suffering. This section provides several resources to help you determine whether you’ve suffered a brain injury, whether you have a legal claim, and how much compensation you could receive.
Brain Injury Symptoms
A brain injury may occur anytime a blow or jolt to the head takes place. Diagnosis can be difficult, but some common symptoms of serious brain injury include numbness, drowsiness, headache, weakness, dizziness, slurred speech, vomiting, nausea, and loss of consciousness or confusion. If any of these symptoms occur you should seek medical assistance immediately.
A medical doctor can assess brain injury using imaging tests, employing the Glasgow Coma Scale Test, and by asking after symptoms experienced or observed at the time of and immediately after the injury occurred. Treatment may range from rest and over-the-counter pain medication to anti-seizure drugs and surgery, depending on the severity of the injury. Brain injuries often commonly result in the need for other therapies, including speech and physical therapy, in order to return to their pre-injury ability.
Common Brain Injuries
Common brain injuries typically result from bruising, tearing, or swelling. Any combination or all three kinds of injury may take place in the same incident. Bruising or concussion occurs when the brain impacts the inside of the skull. Tearing is when an impact causes tissue damage throughout significant areas of the brain. Tearing can disrupt the nervous system, resulting in serious impairment. Swelling is a common effect after injury; however significant swelling may increase intra-cranial pressure which can result in bodily impairment or death.
Brain injuries are typically either open or closed. Open injury means the skull has been fractured. These usually occur as the result of a fall or other accident where the head comes in direct contact with a hard surface or object. A closed injury refers to head injuries that don't involve a fracture. Closed injuries are no less serious than open injuries. Brain swelling and blood clots within the skull pose a significant risk. Whether an injury is open or closed, a serious brain injury can result in paralysis, loss of consciousness, and death.
Serious Brain Injuries
It can be difficult to determine whether a head injury has caused a related brain injury. A brain injury can occur even without a high speed or a hard object striking the injured party. Someone who has suffered a head injury should be observed for symptoms that may indicate serious brain injury such as confusion and memory difficulties, unusual tiredness, nausea and dizziness, severe headache, and weakness or numbness on one side of the body. Even without these symptoms a serious brain injury may have occurred. Seek medical attention quickly if there is any reason to think a brain injury has taken place.