The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 1.4 million Americans sustain some type of brain injury each year. While some brain injuries are mild, some can be severe enough to be permanently debilitating. In some cases, brain injuries go left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because of delayed symptoms. It is important to understand the common causes of brain injury and the symptoms that are typically present. This article will address the basics of head trauma and what steps you should take if you believe you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury.
What is a Brain Injury?
When a person suffers a blow, shake, bump, or penetration to the head and brain, it likely causes some degree of brain injury; this is because the brain’s normal functioning is disrupted. The most common causes of brain injuries are activities or events that most of us are involved in at some point in our lives, including:
Slip and fall accidents
Contact sports (football)
Non-contact sports (biking)
Acts of violence or assault
Below are the three main types of brain injuries:
1. Concussion: Concussions occur when the brain is violently shaken, typically from a blow to the head. Football players are highly likely to suffer concussions, in fact it is estimated that nearly 30% of football players sustain a concussion each year. Concussions are serious and can result in permanent brain damage. Children that play football and suffer blows are at even more risk, as their brains are still developing.
2. “Closed” head injuries: Head injuries such as whiplash can injure the brain. Even though there is no direct contact to the head or visible external bleeding, a violent thrust of the head can cause serious brain injuries.
3. Acquired brain injury: This type of brain injury does not result from an outside trauma to the head, such as a whiplash, but instead is comes from internal causes. For instance, if a child nearly drowns in a swimming pool, serious brain injury could result from the lack of oxygen.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
Depending on the injury to the brain, symptoms can range from mild to severe. These symptoms below are caused by some type of external trauma to the head. These symptoms may include:
Inability to concentrate
Changes in cognitive function, mood, or behavior
While many individuals do experience unconsciousness from a brain injury, it is still possible to sustain a brain injury and not lose consciousness. Therefore, it is important to still have medical attention if you believe you or a loved one has suffered head trauma whether unconsciousness happens or not. Some symptoms of brain injury are not always immediate, especially in “mild” brain injuries. Symptoms can be delayed for days or even weeks, so it is vital to get medical attention after any head trauma.
Seek an Attorney
If you believe that you or a loved has suffered a brain injury, contact medical attention right away. No matter how minor the blow or jolt to the head seemed, significant brain injury can still be sustained. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Bighorn Law understand the importance of proper medical treatment, as well as being compensated if you were not at fault. Contact Bighorn Law to set up a consultation.