A brain injury is one of the most dangerous of injuries, along with burns and spinal injuries. When the brain is injured, many consequences can show up in other parts of the body, and not all can be predicted.
There are three ways the brain can be injured:
- By being struck against a hard object, whether in a fall, an attack, or an accident. This includes incidents where the brain is roughly shaken so that it hits against the inside of the skull.
- By the skull being pierced by a sharp object.
- By oxygen deprivation, as in smoke inhalation or near-drowning. A baby can sustain brain injury if the oxygen supply is impaired during birth.
If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury, even if you think it’s a mild one, don’t delay in seeing a qualified neurologist. The consequences that can flow from even a mild brain injury can be debilitating, incapacitating, and even fatal. The inside of the skull is a fixed area so if any bleeding or swelling occurs within it, a severe headache will likely result, and further brain damage could follow.
If the injury was caused by somebody’s negligence or intentional misconduct, it would be wise to also consult an experienced brain injury lawyer. You may have a valid brain injury claim.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When the brain strikes a hard object or becomes pierced, this is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). When oxygen deprivation causes the injury, it’s known as Acquired Brain Injury.
Symptoms of a Mild TBI
You could lose consciousness for a short period, seconds or minutes, or possibly not lose consciousness at all. You could also experience:
- Confusion and memory problems
- Blurred vision
- Impaired ability to concentrate or think
- A changed sleep pattern
Symptoms of a Moderate or Severe TBI
You could have all of the above symptoms, as well as more severe ones, such as:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Chronic nausea with or without vomiting
- A perpetual and severe headache
- Slurred speech
- Loss of control, or weakness and numbness in the hands and feet
- An ongoing sleep state
- Increased agitation and confusion
A severe TBI can cause a variety of types of unconsciousness. In a stupor, the person is only roused by strong stimulus; in a vegetative state, the person is unconscious but has periods of relative alertness; in a coma, the person is completely unconscious and can’t be roused; and in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), the person remains for over a month in a vegetative state.
Despite the best and most prompt medical care, a person with a severe TBI may incur permanent disability, perhaps in several ways.
Medical care will focus on stabilizing you and preventing any further injury. The brain’s oxygen supply will be carefully checked and monitored, along with blood flow generally and blood pressure. Various imaging tests will be done, such as X-rays and CT scans, to check for any bone fractures or spinal injury.
Often, rehabilitation programs will be initiated, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, and if necessary, psychotherapy and group work for social support.
Surgery will be done for about half of all TBI patients, to repair broken blood vessels or bruised brain tissue.
Might you have a valid legal claim?
If the brain injury was caused by someone’s negligence, legal representation by means of a brain injury lawyer is vitally important. Treatment of TBI can be long-running and expensive, and can cause intense emotional pain in family members, especially if the treatment results are uncertain or changeable. If the injured person was providing financial support to others, that support may now be gone; if the person is a child, special education may become necessary.
The first step in bringing a lawsuit is to find a brain injury lawyer in your area. Alternatively, or perhaps in addition, you might need to find a lawyer in the state where the injury occurred. Your next step will be to meet with the brain injury attorney you have chosen and share as much information about the incident as you can, so that your lawyer can evaluate your claim.
As with most legal matters, time is of the essence. There is probably a statute of limitations running, the time during which you can legally file a lawsuit. Please use these links to facilitate your search for an experienced brain injury lawyer.
Brain Injury Articles