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A brain injury has devastating and life-altering consequences on both the injured and their family members. Often, those with brain injuries are unable to return to work or to maintain their standard of living. Some need around the clock care and specialized treatment. Families are impacted as well: living with a loved one with a brain injury may require a spouse, parent, or child to alter her life in order to help care for the injured.
Traumatic brain injuries are more common than one might think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that traumatic brain injuries are a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all injury related deaths. In addition, over 1.7 million people sustain such brain injuries each year, costing our medical system $76.5 billion each year.
Brain injuries can occur in a number of situations. Common causes are car wrecks, industrial accidents, Jones Act injuries, onshore oil field injuries, offshore oil field platform injuries, work place injuries, construction accidents, or slip and fall injuries.
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial burden that a brain injury has on our clients. Our brain injury lawyers will help you take care of your immediate needs for medical care, counseling, and financial assistance while we prepare your case for trial. We are available seven days a week, all hours of the day, to assist our clients in any way we can. The following information is an overview of brain injury causes and injuries. After browsing our site, please contact a brain injury attorney for your free case review.
There are two general types of traumatic brain injuries: closed, and penetrating. Closed brain injuries occur when an external force causes the brain to move within the skull. Examples of situations that can result in closed traumatic brain injuries include:
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of death as a result of traumatic brain injuries. However, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. The two groups of fall-sufferers that are on the rise are very young children (ages 0 – 4) and the elderly (ages 75 and up).
Penetrating traumatic brain injuries on the other hand occur when a foreign object penetrates the skull. A common example of this is a gunshot wound, or a sharp object penetrating the skull and piercing the brain.
Not all accidents that cause brain injuries are the same. Depending on the level of impact and the area of the head that was injured, a variety of injuries can result. The following is a review of the most common types of brain injuries.
A cerebral contusion occurs when there is bruising of the brain tissue. This can be as severe as to cause coma or death, or as mild as to cause a mild concussion.
Motor vehicle accidents, sports related injuries, and falls are all common causes of cerebral contusions.
If the cerebral contusion is severe, blood vessels within the brain can bleed, causing a hematoma.
What are the symptoms of a cerebral contusion?
If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a doctor immediately. The more timely the evaluation and treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery. Click here for more about cerebral contusions.
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that occurs from a blow to the head. When this occurs, the brain is thrown forcefully against the inner wall of your skull. A concussion can alter a person’s mental status and disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Multiple concussions have a cumulative effect, and can be permanent and life-changing.
Symptoms of concussion include temporary unconsciousness, confusion, or temporary incapacity, as well as headaches, and problems with concentration, memory, judgment, balance, and coordination. Fatigue, slurred speech, and amnesia can also be symptoms of a concussion.
Concussions are commonly the result of impact sports such as football or hockey, but can also result from motor vehicle accidents and physical abuse. Having had a previous concussion increases the risk of suffering another one in the future. Click here for more about concussions.
Intracranial hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and then bleeds. This is a very serious brain injury that requires immediate attention, as it can lead to a change in intracranial pressure, leading to permanent brain damage or death.
There are many causes of such hemorrhaging, but a leading cause is car accidents. Depending on how severe the accident, symptoms may appear immediately or gradually over time. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this severe condition can appear similar to other brain injuries. Symptoms include severe headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of fine motor skills, loss of consciousness, etc. This makes it critical that you receive medical attention immediately so that a doctor can diagnose your injuries and begin the proper treatment. Click here for more about intracranial hemorrhage.
A skull fracture occurs when there is a break in the skull bones. The skull protects the brain, blood vessels, nerves, and inner ears. Though it is tough and resilient, with an enough impact, it is vulnerable to fracture. Such an impact can come from a car accident, a bike or skateboard accident, a sports injury, or a fall.
The fracture may be simple in that it breaks without any damage to the skin. In these cases, swelling may be the only indication that a fracture has occurred. In other cases, the skull can be crushed, fracturing the bones in towards the brain.
Symptoms of a skull fracture include bleeding bruising, unconsciousness, nausea, convulsions, and drowsiness. Click here for more about skull fractures.
You do not have to suffer through this time alone. Whether your brain injury was caused by a car accident or a workplace injury, the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can recover compensation for your injuries and begin getting your life back on track. Contact a brain injury attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP today.
There are a range of physical effects that result from traumatic brain injuries. These can be both short and long term. It is not uncommon for brain injury victims to suffer a period of coma or amnesia. Depending on the severity and location of the brain injury (brain stem, frontal lobe, or temporal lobe), the following are often affected:
Cognitive function refers to an individual’s ability to process thoughts, and includes memory, attention, concentration, planning, organizing, the ability to learn new information, speech, and reading comprehension. Additionally, impulse control and patience are also areas of cognitive function that can be affected.
Changes in cognitive function can affect an individual’s daily living. For example, after a traumatic brain injury, an individual may find it extremely challenging to engage in simple communications with others. He may have trouble deciphering nonverbal cues, following the conversation, and starting or stopping conversation. These effects range from mild to severe, and can change over time.
Medication combined with cognitive rehabilitation can keep impairments from worsening.
Motor function involves precise muscle movements with the intent of performing a specific act. From writing to walking to driving, motor function and our brains’ ability to coordinate it can be affected by brain injury.
After a traumatic brain injury, motor function can be affected by weakness in the arms, legs, hands, and feet, and by impaired coordination and balance.
Sensory problems are another common side effect of traumatic brain injuries. After impact to the head, patients may experience problems with one or more of the senses. Examples include:
Victims of traumatic brain injuries often suffer emotional changes in addition to their other symptoms. These emotional effects can exacerbate other problems, and create tension with loved ones who are trying to help.
One commonly reported emotional issue with patients that have suffered brain injury is loss of emotional attachment to loved ones. This may relate back to a general decline in the ability to empathize after a brain injury.
In addition to empathy problems, the following emotional issues can arise:
Many traumatic brain injury sufferers see an improvement in these symptoms as time passes. There are also medications that doctors can provide to help stabilize emotions.
No matter how they occur, brain injuries impact almost every aspect of your life. At Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, our brain injury attorneys know how stressful this time can be for you and your family. When you contact one of our brain injury attorneys, you will be taking the first important step towards getting your life back in order. Whether your traumatic brain injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident or a workplace accident, we will get you the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP today.