Common Causes of Brain Injury
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Wayne D. Parsons with Wayne Parsons Law Office.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Wayne D. Parsons, a Medical Malpractice attorney based in Hawaii.
Brain injuries can range from mild to severe in their classification, but any injury to the brain should be taken seriously. Brain injuries that result in long-term or permanent damage are typically classified as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. Even short-term and mild brain injuries can become severe if left untreated or compounded with another brain injury in the future. On average 50,000 people die per year in the United States due traumatic brain injuries, making it the fourth leading cause of death overall.
Brain injury cases are unique in that the damages tend to be severe and extend farther into the future than other types of injury cases. For example, a brain injury victim may be required to pay ongoing medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing therapeutic or life care expenses, and may experience devastating losses in the form of altered relationships and changes in profession. Brain injuries can also be hard to notice; in fact, TBIs are often referred to as “the invisible injury” because they may not be immediately apparent. Family members are often the first to notice changes in a TBI victim’s behavior and personality.
Brain injuries commonly occur in the following situations:
- Falls: Falls may occur in any environment and from any height. While falls from a height are more likely to result in severe or traumatic brain injuries, slipping on wet tile and striking one’s head on a hard surface may present the opportunity for severe and even fatal brain injuries as well.
- Motor vehicle collisions: Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and even commercial vehicle accidents are some of the most common situations in which brain injuries occur. The high speeds these vehicles can travel at and their enormous weight increase the risk of a severe injury, such as a TBI.
- Violent events: Physical violence between parties is another alarmingly common cause of brain injuries; from gunshot wounds to blunt force trauma, brain injuries caused by physical violence can vary widely in severity but should always be taken seriously. Victims of assault may be eligible to file a personal injury claim in addition to criminal proceedings.
- Sports and recreation: Brain injuries are unfortunately common in sports and recreational activities; this is why it is imperative to wear a helmet at all times when engaging in activities for which protection is recommended. Sports players may also be more likely to suffer multiple concussions, which can result in a compounded and more severe brain injury in the long-term.
- Combat: In combat situations such as those experienced by military personnel, brain injuries are relatively common. These injuries can vary widely in severe from mild to traumatic, but should always be treated and taken seriously. Behavior changes are not uncommon after combat due to emotional trauma, but if there was any kind of head injury, medical attention should be sought as well to make sure a TBI is not also at play.
Whenever there is the possibility of a head injury, it’s important to seek medical care.
Due to the invisible nature of brain injuries, detecting a TBI may require additional attention from medical providers. In fact, brain injuries may even go overlooked in emergency rooms that are typically busy and working to move the most severe cases through as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one were involved in any event or accident where a head injury may have occurred, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional; even those who have visited the emergency room are recommended to pursue follow-up care for a second opinion, particularly if any symptoms of brain injury occur. Brain injuries that are left undiagnosed and untreated can worsen and cause permanent damage.
Symptoms that may indicate the presence of a brain injury include but are not limited to:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty waking up
- Unusual drowsiness or inexplicable fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering things
- Mood swings
- Changes in personality
- Slurred speech
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Persistent headaches
- Depression and anxiety
- Decreased coordination
- Seizures or convulsions
A TBI attorney can help identify a possible brain injury as well as opportunities for recovery.
Brain injuries can be hard to recognize, and are usually expensive. Both of these elements can be addressed by an experienced TBI attorney. These lawyers are familiar with all kinds of brain injuries and symptoms; in fact, a TBI attorney may identify symptoms that the victim and/or their family didn’t notice. Additionally, these attorneys are well-versed in TBI cases and can direct a victim to the medical professionals, tests, and recovery resources necessary to identify and treat the injury as effectively as possible while providing support to the victim and their family.
To learn about other common causes of brain injuries, or for help investigating a claim, reach out to a TBI attorney in your area.